How to Approach Your Boss About Personal Issues

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

How do you approach your boss about personal issues?

We would all like to have a work life that is separate from the home life. Unfortunately, life has a way of meshing the two together to a degree that both are affected by events. It is very difficult to ensure that one doesn’t spill over into the other, but sometimes it’s inevitable. Can you approach your boss with personal issues before they become work issues? Every problem is different, but generally it could be possible.

1. Honesty – As the saying reminds us, it is the best policy. If you are continually honest with your boss, you can find them quite receptive to what you have to say. Be honest about the situation for they may be able to help you in ways you never thought possible.

2. Privacy – A responsible boss takes what you have to say with confidence in consideration. It is nobody’s business about what is going on with your personal life and your boss will understand this. Keep the conversation private between you and your boss to eliminate gossip around the workplace.

3. Sooner than Later – Speak to your boss before it becomes an overwhelming problem in the workplace. He or she may be able to assist you prior to your personal life collapsing, and speaking to them beforehand can help them prepare for the problem. If you don’t give your boss some kind of warning, they can inadvertently add to your stress if things in your life get worse.

4. Timing – Speaking to your boss about personal issues during busy times in the workplace could result in making matters worse. Moments of high-stress could cause people to react badly to information that could add to it. Choose a time that is best suited for a one-on-one discussion with little chance of interruptions.

5. Relax – If an instant in your personal life is causing panic or stress, you should relax as much as possible before bringing it up to your boss. In a frantic state, important information can easily be left out, forgotten, or may become unclear. If you are looking for assistance or advice, your boss will need all the information you can give him or her so they can make an informed decision.

6. In Person – All conversations are best conducted in person. Although some instances prevent interpersonal communication, speaking to your boss can show respect and give the situation a more urgent aspect. A conversation in person can show facial expressions which can enhance the experience and present more information than talking on the phone.

7. Not At Home – While some supervisors have a social relationship with their employees, many don’t, and it isn’t customary to visit them at home with your problem. They too are trying to keep home and work separated and don’t wish for the work life to follow them.

8. Structure – Your opening sentence can determine how the rest of the conversation with your boss is going to progress. Starting with, “I have a problem”, or “I need some help” can go a long way. Never start with, “You’re not going to like this, but…” and similar statements. It could be construed as jovial or not to be taken seriously. Unless your goal is to entertain, you should speak seriously about the personal issue.

9. 3rd Party – Never speak to your boss using a third-party. It shows immaturity and may not be taken seriously. Unless the situation is such that direct conversation is impossible, keep co-workers separated from it. The matter should be between yourself and your boss.

10. Introverted – Keeping things bottled up is never good. You should be assertive and speak to your boss, not shy away from him or her. Your boss needs to be respected, not feared.

Advising your boss about severe problems at home could give him or her insight as to the frame of mind you may be in. Although some authoritative figures can be strict, many more are surprisingly understanding and could lend aid in some manner by moving schedules and such. Trust in your supervisor’s ability to lead and consult them about problems you may have before a situation escalates into something worse.

Nancy Parker was a professional nanny and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like health, Parenting, Child Care, Babysitting, nanny, etc. You can reach her @ nancy.parker015 @

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