Hi all,

I've got a question about how to handle a situation where your manager is giving you too much feedback. My current manager is someone I have a lot of respect for and I genuinely want to achieve the goals he is setting out for the department and organisation.

However I am having difficulty working out an effective communication strategy with him. He is definitely a high D in communication style, as well as a high E extrovert and I am a high C and INTP (as well as being the only humanities person in an IT department).

He is constantly giving me feedback on how I operate, usually with the "good news/bad news" approach. Now I do accept the validity of much of what he says, as particularly when stressed or under pressure I can be overly intellectual and cerebral in how I approach things. And I know that can make people uncomfortable - a recent feedback was that my vocabulary should be dumbed down and that I shouldn't use abstract concepts.

When he gives me feedback I take it on board and try work out ways to integrate it into my behaviour so that the change sticks.

Trouble is, his well meaning feedback is starting to feel relentless and counter productive, to the point that if he says anything good to me I immediately brace myself for the next piece of bad behaviour advice. It feels like he is trying to make a C be a D, when it would be more useful to help make a C be a more effective C. If you know what I mean :wink:

I'm feeling pressured because I'm not getting a chance to correct and integrate one behaviour before I'm being told to correct another. Which would probably be corrected anyway with an adjustment to the first...As a consequence everything is running together and I am starting to give up and switch off.

I think he recognises that I am genuinely making an effort to effect change. But how do I give him feedback that he is crowding me and not helping me effectively?


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge


I don't recommend you do (give him feedback that he's crowding you).

You're getting lots of feedback, and you don't like it. But his feedback isn't MAKING you feel anything. He's giving you feedback, and then you're deciding how to feel about it. You could just as easily tell yourself a different, more positive story about it.

I wouldn't worry too much about not getting one piece of feedback incorporated before you get the next one. He understands that this kind of learning is a continuum - you're going to have work on many over a period of time. It looks a lot more like a bunch of spaghetti of various lengths wrapped together rather than a bunch of bricks laid end to end. This may not fit with your ideal world, but it is a more accurate approximation of how the world actually IS.

I recommend you count your blessings, start working on your emotional state when you receive it, and keep track of all of it.

I can't say for sure, but I would bet that years from now you'll look back and say, "I learned more from him...."


TomW's picture
Training Badge


it sounds like your boss has the opposite feedback approach to most others (little or none at all).

My only thought would be to take notes on what he says. It may come at you faster than you can deal with immediately, so this will give you a way to remember it when you can.

It also gives you data for your review where you can say "This year you recommended that I make some improvements and these are the ones I have succeeded with."