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Old 05-10-2019, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX via San Antonio, TX
6,182 posts, read 8,653,627 times
Reputation: 3422

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I work in an odd-ish type of environment. In my position I work as kind of an idependent consultant with a team of co-workers who do the similar thing. We all have the same boss but we all work and serve different people/coleagues in this consultative role.

I work on a school year calendar, so we're wrapping up the year. This is my first full year in this position. I started in late March last year so it was more of a matter of surviving last year and then hitting the ground running this year. Of course this wasn't going to be a perfect year. And I'm learning personalities of those I am consulting with and how to help them.

I had my yearly evalutation with my boss a few days ago. On a scale of 1-5, I scored 3-5s on everything. We had discussed some concerns with one of my sites and while having that conversation many of the issues this site had mentioned were concerns were things like I interrupted or I over stepped a boundary or I jumped in when not needed. In my opinion, and the way my head works, these were things that could have been addressed in the moment instead of adding on a list of things to dig into at the end of the year. Like an after the fact conversation of, "Hey, I know you were trying to help, but we had it covered...." I enocuraged these colleagues to confront me when these things happen and they have and it feels better for me.

At this one site I think these things have been addressed, but there are several other sites where they have not been addressed. My job is to be available for crisis situations. And one site basically asked my boss that I not be present at a crisis because I had performed badly at meeting months ago by going off topic among other things. I would have appreciated a "Hey, I didn't think that went very well, can you take a step back?" Instead of holding onto this thing until I am supposed to do my dang job. This really hurt. Like tear inducing hurt.

All these things have just piled on at the end of the year and I want to address these with those sites that don't want me there, because I know I messed up and want to take a step back and fix these things. I had plans to stop by and visit with them at the end of the year, but now my boss is also walking on egg shells on how to repair these relationships when I feel like these colleagues could have just come to me and said "Hey, this thing happened, can you approach it in a different way next time?" I think part of the problem is my role and how I am at these sites but do not directly report to these people so they don't know how to respond to the concerns and if they CAN or if they need to let my boss handle it.

I'm going to take my boss's lead and see how to approach these things, but how do you deal with these things that pile up? It's like a pressure cooker and things are getting close to boiling over.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:26 AM
 
5,340 posts, read 5,302,061 times
Reputation: 12489
This is not uncommon. The pressure is in your head. It is up to you how you choose to deal with it (tear inducing or internalize and move ahead).

For the most part, people will not approach you to give you constructive feedback when you did something they perceived as bothersome or unproductive. It is not something most are comfortable doing, so they won't if they don't need to. You need to learn to read the queues. And you need to learn to take negative feedback without it being so upsetting.

Best of luck
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:40 AM
 
2,781 posts, read 2,020,341 times
Reputation: 2714
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-fused View Post
This is not uncommon. The pressure is in your head. It is up to you how you choose to deal with it (tear inducing or internalize and move ahead).

For the most part, people will not approach you to give you constructive feedback when you did something they perceived as bothersome or unproductive. It is not something most are comfortable doing, so they won't if they don't need to. You need to learn to read the queues.
No-one is a mind reader.

I am not a mind reader.

So, how is anyone supposed to read the queues when no-one is a mind reader?

Let me know what the problems is, and I will fix it.

If that is how you are going to act, then this is not the job for me.

Direct communication prevents many problems.

Use it.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:25 AM
 
6,844 posts, read 3,716,925 times
Reputation: 18083
In my experience most supervisors don't like it when people go directly to the employee with criticism. They prefer it be given to them and they talk to the employee. Often in my career I have worked for the client organization and wanted to bring up what I saw as a minor problem, easily corrected. But the consultant agreement would not allow direct criticism of employee performance questions. Everything had to be in writing through their supervisors. Which means minor issues never get brought up until they become severe enough to put in writing. Then it's too late.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX via San Antonio, TX
6,182 posts, read 8,653,627 times
Reputation: 3422
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
In my experience most supervisors don't like it when people go directly to the employee with criticism. They prefer it be given to them and they talk to the employee. Often in my career I have worked for the client organization and wanted to bring up what I saw as a minor problem, easily corrected. But the consultant agreement would not allow direct criticism of employee performance questions. Everything had to be in writing through their supervisors. Which means minor issues never get brought up until they become severe enough to put in writing. Then it's too late.
Thatís how I think the colleagues are perceiving it. That is not how I perceive my role. I want them to be comfortable saying these things to me.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:38 PM
 
801 posts, read 212,125 times
Reputation: 1347
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashbeeigh View Post
I work in an odd-ish type of environment. In my position I work as kind of an idependent consultant with a team of co-workers who do the similar thing. We all have the same boss but we all work and serve different people/coleagues in this consultative role.

I work on a school year calendar, so we're wrapping up the year. This is my first full year in this position. I started in late March last year so it was more of a matter of surviving last year and then hitting the ground running this year. Of course this wasn't going to be a perfect year. And I'm learning personalities of those I am consulting with and how to help them.

I had my yearly evalutation with my boss a few days ago. On a scale of 1-5, I scored 3-5s on everything. We had discussed some concerns with one of my sites and while having that conversation many of the issues this site had mentioned were concerns were things like I interrupted or I over stepped a boundary or I jumped in when not needed. In my opinion, and the way my head works, these were things that could have been addressed in the moment instead of adding on a list of things to dig into at the end of the year. Like an after the fact conversation of, "Hey, I know you were trying to help, but we had it covered...." I enocuraged these colleagues to confront me when these things happen and they have and it feels better for me.

At this one site I think these things have been addressed, but there are several other sites where they have not been addressed. My job is to be available for crisis situations. And one site basically asked my boss that I not be present at a crisis because I had performed badly at meeting months ago by going off topic among other things. I would have appreciated a "Hey, I didn't think that went very well, can you take a step back?" Instead of holding onto this thing until I am supposed to do my dang job. This really hurt. Like tear inducing hurt.

All these things have just piled on at the end of the year and I want to address these with those sites that don't want me there, because I know I messed up and want to take a step back and fix these things. I had plans to stop by and visit with them at the end of the year, but now my boss is also walking on egg shells on how to repair these relationships when I feel like these colleagues could have just come to me and said "Hey, this thing happened, can you approach it in a different way next time?" I think part of the problem is my role and how I am at these sites but do not directly report to these people so they don't know how to respond to the concerns and if they CAN or if they need to let my boss handle it.

I'm going to take my boss's lead and see how to approach these things, but how do you deal with these things that pile up? It's like a pressure cooker and things are getting close to boiling over.
As stated many people feel uncomfortable giving any form of negative feedback -- don't know how you will react, feel it's your supervisor's job, just avoid any negative forms of communication.

I have often directly solicited feedback especially when new in the job. After a few months I ask my direct supervisor how things are going and ask clients how I can improve or better serve them. By soliciting feedback, you provide a comfortable setting that you are open to constructive feedback. For now, thank them for the feedback and ask for an opportunity to provide better service. Regularly follow up and do not wait to get feedback.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:50 PM
 
Location: In a vehicle.
5,029 posts, read 3,214,692 times
Reputation: 8217
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashbeeigh View Post



At this one site I think these things have been addressed, but there are several other sites where they have not been addressed. My job is to be available for crisis situations.

And one site basically asked my boss that I not be present at a crisis because I had performed badly at meeting months ago by going off topic among other things

I would have appreciated a "Hey, I didn't think that went very well, can you take a step back?" Instead of holding onto this thing until I am supposed to do my dang job. This really hurt. Like tear inducing hurt.

.
I'd have preferred the Boss tell them "This worker is here for a reason. Calm down and let them work and work WITH them"

I have seen people "Stumble" a few times. Takes some work to correct but many do.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:52 PM
 
Location: on the wind
7,119 posts, read 2,921,213 times
Reputation: 24077
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashbeeigh View Post
That’s how I think the colleagues are perceiving it. That is not how I perceive my role. I want them to be comfortable saying these things to me.
Another thing to consider...the timing of the comment. You wrote that you'd like to get this feedback right at the moment? That can be quite awkward for both parties.

For one thing it interrupts the work that's going on. For another, receiving criticism, even diplomatically-delivered, is going to distract your thinking...away from the job at hand and onto a different track of internal dialog. It can put you on the defensive which means you may not participate as effectively, get impatient, shut down, sulk, who knows.

Also, consider that the person giving the feedback may need time to think about what was really occurring. After all, they are also supposed to be doing the task at hand, not generating your evaluation. They want to be sure they give an accurate assessment. They don't want to send anyone off on an unproductive goose chase.

Having been in supervisory roles and needing to deliver criticism, understand that a lot plays into how you do this and who you do this to. Not everything demands an immediate comment. Its one thing to haul someone on the carpet because they did something unsafe, illegal, unethical, or abusive. That should be dealt with right away. Sometimes it takes a number of situations before the right constructive comment becomes clear. Reviewing your performance over time as a whole may be more constructive for you than doing it piecemeal. If you get "criticized" all the time over smaller things it can be misunderstood as nitpicking, micromanaging. Some of the most common complaints managers hear is how constantly henpecked someone feels they are.

The person who needs to hear it also matters a lot. Everyone is slightly different. Some people maybe like you, are open to hearing it. Others not so much. A compliment to one person could be an insult to another. They may already be stressed out and quick to go on the defensive no matter how you do it. When people get defensive they almost stop hearing what's being said. Performance evaluations are a necessary evil. Hardly anyone likes getting them or giving them. There are a million methods out there that try. It's a very touchy and sensitive thing for any manager/supervisor to do. Like most things its a matter of balance and communication. If you want on-the-spot comments, let your supervisor know this. And then be ready to get it.
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:50 PM
 
6,203 posts, read 2,862,660 times
Reputation: 15706
Accentuate the positive. We don't build by tearing down.

If there is a way to improve an action or process , then directly suggest or direct.

It's not one bit helpful to criticize the person .

While the saying of there is more then one way to do a deed...it's interesting that the person doing the "corrective " measure forgets this.

My one boss is a 'why??" , manager. It's dern near irritating that he wants a person to defend why they do something. I find it rude and demeaning ...as if none of us understand our duties. So I often turn his unwanted why's into...hey ! Your being inquisitive. Good of you . Now watch and learn.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:23 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,909 posts, read 2,013,641 times
Reputation: 5852
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
In my experience most supervisors don't like it when people go directly to the employee with criticism. They prefer it be given to them and they talk to the employee. Often in my career I have worked for the client organization and wanted to bring up what I saw as a minor problem, easily corrected. But the consultant agreement would not allow direct criticism of employee performance questions. Everything had to be in writing through their supervisors. Which means minor issues never get brought up until they become severe enough to put in writing. Then it's too late.
Really? I haven't found that to be the case at all. Most supervisors are too busy to deal with petty "he frowned at me the wrong way", or "his report was double sided when it should have been single-sided!" complaints and would be annoyed by being approached with every small grievance that professionals should be handling amongst themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-fused View Post
This is not uncommon. The pressure is in your head. It is up to you how you choose to deal with it (tear inducing or internalize and move ahead).

For the most part, people will not approach you to give you constructive feedback when you did something they perceived as bothersome or unproductive. It is not something most are comfortable doing, so they won't if they don't need to. You need to learn to read the queues. And you need to learn to take negative feedback without it being so upsetting.

Best of luck
As the OP describes it, having a minor mistakes or minor social faux pas brought up months later, that could have easily been addressed if not the moment it happened, at least shortly after, would put even the most professional, conscientious, and reasonable person on the defensive..."Tom, your tone of voice on October 14, 2018 was too abrupt when you were talking to Richard about the Marston file. Because of that, your interpersonal skills grade is going to have to drop from a B+ to a C-." Tom (and Richard) probably don't even remember this months later. It makes sense to discuss patterns of performance and behavior during an evaluation, but not hitting someone fresh with minor infractions for the first time months after they happen. That's both ineffective and needlessly awkward.

Last edited by Jowel; 05-10-2019 at 08:34 PM..
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