My manager gives me a high performance rating, and I am fine with that. However, one negative comment about me seems not fair, or not true.  I  need your help on how to respond. 

On one side, he is asking  me to continue to identify any issues and communicate with him, but, on the other side, he  is asking me to understand it is his job to decide what to do about it.

As the ovarall guideline, I have no problem at all with what he said. He is the boss, he points out the direction, and decide what to  do. 

The problem is I cannot think of a real case that I didn't follow with what he said, or what he directed to. In opposite, I can list multiple instances, that I did do what he asked for, and even they resulted in unpleasant situation. 

Furhter, as we all know, his  manager is not so happy with how he has managed the group. Also, I have a lot of experiences in my area, and I wanted to help him, and help  the group, but obvisouly he interpreted in a wrong way.

So, what should I comment on that?





tlhausmann's picture
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Manager Tools provides podcasts with great advice covering your situation, I think:

If your overall performance is good or great then my advice is to focus on your STRENGTHS and mitigate or develop a strategy to improve weak spots. In my view, it doesn't matter whether you believe one item in your review is inaccurate.

Fighting it and being defensive just draws more attention to the matter. It is the boss' impression, and, unless it is factually inaccurate or a glaring inaccuracy then commit to doing better, do better, and keep delivering results.

amp2140's picture

I think just approaching your manager and asking about a specific time this behavior occured so you could better understand how to fix the behavior would be fine.  You're not going in to tell your manager that he's wrong, you're asking for clarity so you can improve.

mrreliable's picture

I have to respectfully disagree with amp. Approaching the manager and asking about a specific time a behavior occurred could easily be taken as a challenge. "Prove it!"

I don't see any accusation of negative behavior by the manager by encouraging the direct to communicate, then making the point that the manager is still the one making the decisions. It could easily be a situation where the manager has had trouble with other directs, and merely wants to make a certain point to everyone.

I had a direct that took the "be specific" approach to negative feedback. I'd give feedback, then I'd have to waste my time producing a written report stating specifically what my complaints were, and it got ugly every time. Every point would be defended for the sake of defending it. It was a game. It wasn't any desire by the direct to understand what I wanted so they could improve their performance. It wasn't long before the behavior brought on a "because I said so" response from me. If this direct hadn't been placed on a pedestal in a bubble by ownership, I would have parted ways early on. I wouldn't recommend that kind of push back if you want to nurture a good relationship with the manager.

edward's picture

Using the Manager Tools Feedback Model (Reverse)

Instead of them Gooding you feedback - you ask for it.  As we know from the model: Ask if you can provide feedback, identify the behaviour, indicate the impact, ask for change.  Done.

So in this case we ask to provide a response (should be in a formal face to face), identify the behaviour that the manager does not like, ask what you can do differently to adjust this.  

This focuses on the behaviour not the individual, and takes blame out of it.