Does your Boss provide Feedback to Throwback - Negative Irrelevance?

Does your Boss provide feedback which is a waste of time? Is it full of inconsistencies and negative irrelevance?

How many of us have taken part in an annual appraisal or performance review to find that you have to remember everything from the past year? Even once a quarter is difficult to recall the previous three months. For many businesses the annual review is a tick box exercise, something that has to be done. How wrong an attitude is this!?

Feedback is an essential part of performance management. It should not be seen as an inconvenience from the normal routine of mayhem in the workplace. Your Boss needs to express their expectations of you and also provide useful feedback to help you manage your own performance.

Preparation and Relevance

Feedback will be a waste of time if your Boss fails to collect all the relevant data in advance of providing you feedback, or if they fail to allow you to offer points of clarification during a feedback discussion.

Feedback needs to be a dialogue, not a one way download from your Boss. It also needs to be focused, regular and not vague.

Feedback needs to be a dialogue, not a one way download from your Boss. It also needs to be focused, regular and not vague. Some Bosses wait until a scheduled review session before providing feedback.

Let's say you've done something which didn't meet your Boss's expectations during the first week of the year, but your Boss waits until your next quarterly (or annual) review before expressing their disappointment. This is akin to letting you travel miles along the wrong road when they have witnessed you take a wrong turn.

If you find feedback is not timely or irrelevant, there are likely two avenues:

a) Your Boss is ill-prepared to undertake your feedback session and needs to be coached to give you feedback in a constructive and pertinent fashion (back to point 1 above).
b) Your Boss is deliberately setting you up to fail (either consciously or unconsciously), or is withholding information to enable them to have some kind of advantage or hold over you.

One thing to realize is that we all require and should always welcome feedback if it is offered in a genuine manner. If you are given positive feedback, accept it humbly without fanfare. If you perceive the feedback to be negative, then accept this too while thanking the giver for their honesty. This will quietly demonstrate your maturity as a rounded individual.