Overwhelmed at Work? Here’s How to Have the Conversation with Your Boss

How to talk to your boss about being overwhelmed

Identify why you’re overwhelmed

Michelle Merrit, managing partner at Merrfeld Career Management, suggests that you plan out what you’re going to stay before you meet with your boss. She says to ask yourself, what do I know for sure? And, what is the reality of the situation I’m facing?

Talk with them in person

Have the conversation with your boss in person if possible. If that’s not possible, have the conversation over a video platform. Email, which should only be used as a last resort, can leave room for misunderstandings or miscommunications.

Be honest

Honesty is always the best policy. Be upfront and straightforward with your boss, but don’t feel obligated to tell your boss all of the details if the source of your stress is outside the workplace or personal. For example, if you’re experiencing a personal medical matter, you can say just that.

Have a specific request

When you talk to your boss about being overwhelmed, propose a specific way they can help you.

About our sources

Business coach, writer, advocate, and speaker Michelle Merritt is the Managing Partner of Merrfeld Career Management. Her previous roles as a Fortune 500 Recruiter, corporate culture executive, training manager, and chamber of commerce vice president led her to create Merrfeld Career Management to serve in a way that encourages, promotes, and enables people to be their very best. Her top 5 CliftonStrengths are positivity, communication, connectedness, arranger, and relator.



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