Recently my director sent me a feedback note by email.  This feedback was specific on providing more lead time before a specific event.  I have heard M&M many times say that not agreeing with feedback is point-less since the feedback is already given.  Even though in this situation, the feedback is completely wrong and deserves an explanation.  

I think my boss is dangling (reference to "The Dangle") a new position, and he is being extra careful with all my behaviors.  That's why he is making notes on this type of feedback opportunities.  I will like to know, if because I am in the middle of a "promotion process" if I should disagree with the feedback provided by email, or just let it go.


Smacquarrie's picture

 Take the feedback at face value. If it is something you can control, and this sounds like it is, then try to correct moving forward. Objectng and trying to "justify" your actions will only hurt you here. 

naraa's picture
Training Badge

 Very rarely things are black and while.  Usually things are gray.  You think the feedback is completely wrong, your boss thinks it is completely adequate.  The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.  Thank your boss for the feedback.  You may disagree with the feedback só see how you can "market" what you already did this time diferently next time if you think you have already done what was asked.  Remember that feedback is for the future só there is no point arguing about the past.

Remember you see the world with the mask you have on and your boss sees it with his.  No matter how much you argue you will not see the past in the same way.  You can only work to try to see the future similarly.


geo_'s picture

Very very good answers. Thanks for taking the time to answer.  

I will say thanks, correct what needs to be corrected and move on.


pegman's picture

That makes a lot of sense to me well done.
How do you suggest we 'market'?

naraa's picture
Training Badge

 Pegman, I have been thinking about an answer for you for a while.  Let me give it a try.  The route causes of differences in perceptions of performance between bosses and directs in cases I have been able to observe are related to difference in communication style and failure to recognize the value of somebody else's skills which may be opposite of our own.  Let me see if I can explain myself with one example.  

I had a direct once who was very good at initiating and structuring things.  She would see a problem, identify what was going on and create a process to fix it and an indicator to monitor it.  She was not good at details though and often after creating the process and the indicators she would get a number wrong.  My boss would interact directly with her sometimes at some processes and for him that was a fatal flaw.  And he could not recognize the value of her having structured the process, the spreadsheet and the indicators to control it, because he wouldn't see all of that, what he would see was the number which was wrong.  And as they were from opposite communication styles they just couldn't sort the differences out.

My direct was not 'marketing' herself well because she was not giving enough attention to the details that in this case matter to my boss and she was not communicating to him in a language that he would understand.  So he would give her feedback that she had not done a good job, and she would get frustrated because she was not valued for all the other staff that she had done and that she had done right.  There would be excuses about the wrong number (a number which wouldn't even be monitor if it wasn't for her creativity) and both would never see the same thing.

So in short, I guess that to 'market' oneself well, you need to understand what things matters most to the person you are communicating to and how to communicate that based on the DISC profile of that person.   All the rest you do, is off screen, and is just preparation to get to what matters to that person, and there is not point in trying to get recognized by that.  You get what matters most right, communicate it properly, and you will get the recognition.



pegman's picture

 Thanks for the insight. Your response begs another question - do you ask your boss what matters most. Be explicit wi what they truly value?

naraa's picture
Training Badge

Pegman, definitely you can ask.  Come to your boss with the list of the things you do in order of priority and ask him/her to confirm that prioritization with you.  You can also discuss in further detail regarding the output they want for each activities.  

Then there is a podcast for asking your boss feedback about yourself:

If I recall correctly, (Mark and Mike talk about it in the cast), in order to ask for the feedback you must:

1- have a good relationship with your boss to ask for the feedback (do you trust your boss?)

2 - be willing to do the adjustments - "Do not ask a question whose answer you do not intent to follow."

All the best!


"What is important to your boss is important to you."


TNoxtort's picture

I can relate to what you are saying because a new boss joined my chian of command in August. I had known he never liked me before, and now he is in my reporting relationship. Despite me spending lots of time explaining my very unique project to him, in meetings, he has made it clear he thinks I have made mistake and after mistake after mistake on this project, and the innovative work I'm doing is a waste of resources and time, and should be done by other departments. That work, costing $700k, has been funded by my department head, and last week, was in a slide deck that the SVP used as his town hall. We are a pharmaceutical company, that is very matrixed, so he doesn't have any responsibility for the project. So what am I doing? He's retiring very, very soon (like in January 2013), so I'm holding out until then.