How can I talk to my boss one-on-one with confidence?

The OP is clearly having a problem at work because of her confidence. She is asking for help because of this. I am thinking that makes this on topic.

As a related aside...
The op is brand new to SE. She can not edit her question herself. So instead of critising we might want to help her out by editing the question to make it more on topic if the problem is just the wording.

  • 2
    I meant to VtC as NarQ but I picked Off topic since it was already highlighted. It's a bad Q but I'm not sure it's off topic. Also, you can always edit your own questions, why wouldn't she be able to fix it herself?
    – Rarity
    Apr 18, 2012 at 14:10
  • I've tried to edit the question for the OP, and it's in the review queue.
    – jcmeloni
    Apr 18, 2012 at 14:32
  • Now that the edits are live, and it's gotten some votes back up, do the comments about its fit get wiped? I'm not sure how that works, entirely.
    – jcmeloni
    Apr 18, 2012 at 14:59
  • @jcmeloni Right now only SE employees can delete comments (we don't have mods yet). But you can always delete your own comments.
    – yannis
    Apr 18, 2012 at 16:28
  • @YannisRizos Check. I just didn't know the process. Thanks!
    – jcmeloni
    Apr 18, 2012 at 16:36
  • What is the conclusion of this question? Since comments were cluttering around the question, there was a meta discussion. All answers here talked about the question said this should be "ON-TOPIC" but then no one really cares about any feedback. The question still gets closed as off topic! How can that be? In fact the people who finally closed it - didn't even answer. So there was no point in really making this meta discussion really? Apr 19, 2012 at 4:15
  • @DipanMehta - Well I anticipate the question will be voted to reopen. It appears that it is on topic overwelmingly Apr 19, 2012 at 12:41

4 Answers 4


Frankly I think soft skills are on topic. Talking to her boss makes her nervous and there are a lot of other people who have the same problem, I did too when I was young.

  • 2
    I think it's on topic, just not a real question. Needs a lot more info/focus before it can be a fit.
    – Rarity
    Apr 18, 2012 at 14:31

Although I also see soft skills as on topic for The Workplace, I feel that since there are many book dedicated to this particular topic, the question falls under the category of

If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.

in the FAQ.

If the question were confined to a more specific circumstance, then it might be on topic here, and jcmeloni's edit does make the question much better.


While soft skills per-se are on topic the question itself is not a really good one. It's not about the soft skills of how to approach your boss and describe and argue your project the question is about how to gain confidence in speaking with a psychologically dominating figure in this case her boss but it could be a parent, rude DMV clerk, etc. The situation in my mind doesn't have to necessarily to do with the workplace although had occurred in the workplace in this case.

  • 2
    But the question is scoped for the workplace. As opposed to being scoped for the whole or outside work at all. Apr 18, 2012 at 15:12
  • @Chad As it was asked originally it would go beyond the scope of work.
    – Karlson
    Apr 18, 2012 at 15:40
  • @Chad As evidenced by one of the answers: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/729/…
    – Karlson
    Apr 18, 2012 at 15:50
  • How does the answer speak to the scope of the question? Apr 18, 2012 at 15:54
  • @Chad What make us fear the client? the boss? a senior peer? or even a brat junior? The most important aspect is our ability communicate and put our point forward - The understanding is same as mine this question as was originally stated goes into an area beyond workplace. The fact that it occurred in the workplace setting doesn't make it a workplace soft skills question.
    – Karlson
    Apr 18, 2012 at 16:16

I have seen situations like this myself. And in that situation it is really not about lack-of-confidence as a "self help topic".

While in all other situations people are just normal and confident but workplace situation overwhelms you to loose. This is very real and very important question because you feel very frustrated, lost and not tackling this mean getting affected in the career.

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