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.