Problem Worker

Earlier this week I had my first “one-on-one” meeting with my new boss, in which we discussed my career development.  The meeting went well overall.  Toward the end of the meeting she asked me if I was happy with the type of feedback I received from my immediate management.  I told her I was satisfied, generally, but that I didn’t feel like I had received enough criticism over the course of my career at the company.

When I don’t hear criticism, I assume people are either lying to me or aren’t paying attention to what I’m doing.  I assume that because I know I’m not perfect, and there are opportunities to improve my performance.  But I rarely hear that kind of feedback, so I encouraged her to not be afraid to let me know when things need to change.

She assured me she would.

“However”, I said, “You should also know that sometimes I don’t handle criticism particularly well, and may get defensive even when I know you are right.”

She put her pen down and shrugged.  “What do you expect me to do, then?”  I thought for a moment and said, “I’m not sure.”

People like me are the reason I wouldn’t want to manage people.

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15 Responses to Problem Worker

  1. Steim says:

    As a manager, I can assure you that people like you make managers fucking nuts.

  2. David says:

    Feeling pretty secure in your job? You pretty much called her out and challenged her in your first one-on-one meeting. I’m guessing as soon as you left, she made a note to herself… “find new supervisor for this guy.”

  3. pipelineblog says:

    Feeling very secure. And it was more of an informal exchange than I conveyed in my post, and we have known each other for some time before she took this new job, etc…

  4. notchris says:

    she hates you now….

  5. schmelly says:

    you should have started crying and say “i dont know, but sometimes i like to cut myself”

    on another subject.. who is that picture of on all your coments? Doesn’t look like Jane, or the kids, or the Doug, so who it be?

  6. kelly says:

    I dunno, it may have made for a difficult first meeting, but overtime it will pay off in spades. Any amount of self-awareness and candidness is good in my book. She will remember your comment when you become defensive, but now knows you well enough that her perspective wont be rejected even if you are defensive. And who asks for more ciriticism btw? A good employee.

  7. kelly says:

    I dunno, it may have made for a difficult first meeting, but overtime it will pay off. Any amount of self-awareness and candidness is good in my book. She will remember your comment when you become defensive, but now knows you well enough that her perspective wont be rejected even if you are defensive. And who asks for more ciriticism btw? A good employee.

  8. Dave R says:

    Re: kelly’s comment on work candidness:

    “I wouldn’t say I’ve been missing it, Bob.”

  9. pipelineblog says:

    Schmelly, that is me.

  10. mrfares says:

    I’m with Steim. I am glad none of the folks I am managing ever did that to me. I would, however, never ask that first question even informally.
    I have found that unless you are Thurston Moore you can’t make feedback come out right. Instead I just neglect to approve the expense reports until the target behavior changes.

  11. Steim says:

    That’s really you? I always just assumed it was Natalie Merchant and that you had your reasons for putting her pic next to your posts.

  12. pipelineblog says:

    Natalie Merchant? You need a new graphics card or something.

    Seriously, although I did say what I said I said to my boss, I should have mentioned that there was laughter on both sides before, during, and after that part of the discussion. But, it may have been nervous laughter on her part.

  13. schmelly says:

    I agree with Steim, that has got to be Natalie Merchant or some other perky brunette singer.

  14. steim says:

    I think a post of that picture, only much, much larger, is in order…

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