I have listened to the feedback model and have applied it when working with directs.

if you wanted to give feedback to a boss who repeatedly takes credit for proposals or initiatives you have authored, it would seem difficult even if you present it in a casual way.

To boss: "On multiple occasions, when we presented proposals to upper management that I authored or initiated, you have said that you created it or you instructed me to do this. This creates a lack of trust which I am trying to develop with you. Also, it makes me apprehensive to present additional ideas to you."

After this, there is no way I can say, " So what can you do about this?"

All hypothetical of course.

Thanks Mark.


bflynn's picture

You're correct. Feedback to your boss is difficult and for that reason, you shouldn't use the feedback model with your boss of peers. Trying to modify your bosses' behavior is playing with dynamite.

If you insist, there was an early podcast on this. Go very casual and use the behavior and simple effects steps. No piling on. Just state cause and effect and leave it to him to choose to make a modification. You never know, perhaps he wants it that way.

The fact that this is so dangerous should automatically imply that it is for big situations.


chuckbo's picture

Years ago, I had a very successful opportunity to give feedback to my boss, but it worked because of the situation.

He had a personal habit during that I thought hurt his image. Now note that this is one of the, probably, two best bosses I've had. While wondering how to tell him, he sent out an email asking if anyone on his team had any feedback for him. He'd never done that before. So I replied with email -- I figured it was less confrontational. I led up to it by saying that I knew him well enough to know ... but I thought that when he did that habit, people who weren't as familiar with him might assume the opposite.

He never mentioned the note, but he also never did that habit again. So that felt like a success to me -- and we avoided any defensiveness of his. I don't know how you can approach your specific topic similarly, but it's something to look for.


Mark's picture
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IF you are going to do this, you have to use the peer model.


And I sure wouldn't say "multiple occasions". Just on the latest one.


phpang's picture

Thanks Mark.
I have to go back and relisten to the peer model.
I do not remember the details.

Ironically, I just finished a chapter in "The Effective Executive" where it discusses leveraging the strengths of your directs and boss and not fixating on their weaknesses. Possibly my solution lies within this.
At best, I can partner with my boss on a topic I initiate and follow through on. Others (and he) will notice.