Most people would avoid talking to their boss when they're in a less-than-great mood whenever possible. But sometimes you have something that just can't wait and you need to approach them.
So how do you do this without being forever in their bad books?
Know what you want to say
There's nothing worse than being interrupted only for the person to babble on for ages before they get to what they actually want to say. Avoid this by having a good idea of what you want to say before you approach them. Take a few minutes to work out how you can best convey the problem so you're not taking up more time than you need to.
Don't match their mood
A bad mood can be infectious so you need to make sure you don't let your boss's stress impact you. Keep a measured head during your conversation and even if they are a little short or snappy, don't rise to it or let it alter your own mood. You'll get nothing accomplished if your chat turns into an argument.
Keep it professional
If your boss is feeling stressed, you need to keep whatever you want to say as concise as possible. Stick to strictly work-related topics and get straight to the point of what it is you need from them. Only poor leaders will take their bad mood out on you because you've asked for their guidance on a professional matter and, if they do, that's on them not you.
Don't confront their mood
You don't want to turn a quick chat into a street fight so make sure you don't try to tackle the reason they're in a bad mood. Not only will this mean your conversation takes longer but it could also come across as patronizing, depending on the relationship you have with them. Neither of these options is going to work out well for you so just focus on what you need their help with.
Look for patterns
If your boss is regularly in a bad mood, try to look out for patterns in their behavior. For example, Monday mornings can be a particularly stressful time for professionals so try and avoid making this already difficult time more challenging. By observing their behavior you can also keep an eye out for any potential triggers, such as their own personal reviews. Once you better understand why they might be in a bad mood, you can better judge when to approach them.