It is not uncommon for employees and executives to be fearful of voicing their opinions to their supervisor or CEO. The situation can be even worse when the supervisor or CEO has a more traditional understanding of management where the hierarchy is firmly entrenched and orders are expected to be followed and not questioned.

Nevertheless, such a problem can be solved if the employee commits to shifting the supervisor’s view and mindset. Clarity and consistency are important here.

The first step is to gain credibility with the boss, become their person of trust otherwise they cannot be educated about the merits of professional development or creating a culture of support at work. Bosses are not likely to trust the opinions of people who are only around to follow orders.

Then there is the pitfall of being a trusted advisor on indirect issues, yet you keep quiet when it comes to your needs. This phenomenon hinders the growth of companies. Your boss needs to listen to what you have to say, especially when that opinion is different from theirs.

The only one who can change your relationship with the boss is you. Begin by speaking your mind about issues that directly concern you. Then you can move on to other issues, providing your insight.

Most people are reluctant to disagree with the boss at first. These steps, however, will make being vocal about your thoughts’ second nature, as long as you address the issues directly and to the point. Approach and style are important factors and often the way we say something is as important as what is being said.

When you do find your voice, amazing things will start to happen. Needless to say, sometimes the outcome may be bad – especially if you voice your opinion with the wrong boss - but as in all things that matter, there is a degree of risk involved. If people knew that all their opinions would be seen favorably, no one would ever evolve.

Even if the outcome is not the one you had hoped for, even if – in the worst-case scenario - you are fired, it will not be the end of the world. It will at first seem this way but with hindsight you will feel thankful that it happened sooner than later. After all, if a boss is unwilling to accept and respect your opinions, then you are probably better off working with someone else. 

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