I supervise a CPA accountant who is probably high C or D. I am a highly sensitive person who is a high I. I have been in my role 6 months and have been recovering from a major conflict and mess up on my part for the last 6 weeks (see my post at, using one-on-ones.

Things have mostly improved, but I haven't had time to roll out the full manager tools model yet; haven't done positive feedback yet or introduced the feedback model.

The problem is that this CPA has taken me too literally when I've said I'm open to suggestions and feedback. She disrupts staff meetings by openly criticizing me when I give an update to the team and she gives others "suggestions" in the most direct/blunt way verging on rudeness, to the point that one other team member told me she was insulted and she doesn't want to come to staff meetings anymore. In my one-on-one with her Friday, I asked her a simple question and she starting actually interrogating me, at one point actually saying "You didn't answer my question--did you or didn't you do X?" Asking me very directly why I am doing things they way I'm doing them, telling me I'm doing things inefficiently and should do them differently etc.


I need to give her "negative" feedback ASAP because she's verging on insubordination and "tearing down the team"--even though I think she believes she's just giving "feedback"--and have only recently starting winning her over.

Should I tell her she shouldn't give me feedback at all? That I'm open to suggestions, but she has to deliver them with the knowledge that I'm her boss and she should deliver suggestions with a smile and the knowledge that I don't have to answer her? That staff meetings are not a place for her to give "suggestions" anymore until she can offer them with better communication style?

nknk's picture
Licensee Badge

Though I don't know the degree of disruption, I generally cannot recommend that you jump to negative feedback and perhaps instead work on making the staff meeting more effective. I would personally focus on positive feedback and disc-based feedback next.

It's a tendency for some, myself included, to hear about a simple and effective tool like feedback and instinctually want to use it to bludgeon the person causing you the most stress at that exact moment. Fight that instinct! :) Moreover the point of stress tends to be your boss or your low-performers whom you cannot give feedback to or you should not be spending much time on, respectively. The most effective long-term solution is rolling it out as suggested and following the feedback continuum. It takes patience for an impatient person but pays dividends.

I also recommend focusing on meeting effectiveness. Groundrules work wonders if you've got a High C on your hands. There are several great meeting casts.

When you start feedback, hopefully positive, I highly recommend making sure you get the "results" step right for a task person. For example, "When you don't smile, it tears down the team." in response to "That's really inefficient because of X.", will not go well to say the least. I think the introductory podcast to disc-based feedback is called something like "Improving your feedback" where Mark and Mike give a much better example. Working with opposite personalities is something that I've found requires a lot of patience and understanding of the other person's point of view. All the casts with disc-based feedback, including the disc conflict casts, really help to do that.

Best of luck!