View Full Version : "Sandwich" feedback

04-06-16, 03:02 PM
I had a conversation with my boss today. I basically have 2 "bosses": the client and the boss in my company. Here I mean the latter.

The feedback was first extremely positive. He told me the client loved me and he thinks my relationship with the client simply couldn't be better (that wasn't a surprise for me). My boss stressed that this was important since the client had a "difficult" personality and he knew it. The client's company is huge, we earn a fortune from them. My boss emphasised I fulfilled all the expectations and exceeded them.

And then he went on to mention my "conflict" with "part of our team" and stressed I should take care of a good relationship with them and try to be very communicative.

The problem?

I find his criticism of my communication absolutely not valid. He told me I was too self-confident and not confident enough. That I wrote too many emails and too few of them, etc. etc. His criticism was just silly. It's not like I believe I don't make mistakes - I do make them of course - but in this case I'm sure I behaved correctly. I'm so furious now I could scream!

04-06-16, 03:27 PM
I'm sorry this has happened to you. Hope writing here has allowed you to vent some and made you feel a bit better.

Your bosses suggestion to you. Does it affect your score on your performance evaluation? Does it affect any future job opportunities for you? Does it affect your salary?

If not, I'd just let it go or ask your boss if he had any recommendations on how you could have handled the past conflicts differently.

I kind of wonder if he's not really criticizing you but just giving you a warning that that other coworker might continue to give you even more heartburn if you aren't careful so just saying to be careful (not cause of you but because of that other person).

I sympathize with you a lot though as my results are good yet some coworkers of mine just treat me poorly. It's to the point it actually affects my career advancement opportunities so it makes me furious like yourself.

04-06-16, 03:52 PM
I really agree with acdc.
it seems really important to your boss though so maybe you coould discuss it again?
Is he the kind of'person who doesnt want to give TOO much praise?

anyway the most important is you're doing a great job, and the client is happy!

04-06-16, 03:56 PM
One way to tackle the issue is to be forthright and start the conversation with:

"I want to have a better working relationship with you, but I feel like I'm getting conflicting messages about what you need from me."

Work e-mail is something I struggle with. It's an important tool for communication for me, but I know I'm often unreliable with replying to them, and often have trouble being brief and to the point.

Hardly defending the type of criticism you're getting, since it sounds like it's their communication skills that are lacking, especially when you demonstrated being able to develop a strong working relationship with a "difficult" client.

For better or worse, you need to work with that person. Maybe ask the boss for tips on communication styles that the "team member" in question prefers, stressing that you've tried to respond to their feedback, but are having a hard time due to what looks like inconsistent or conflicting messages. If they have a problem, you want to be able to resolve it, but you're having difficulty understanding what they need.

Alternately ask someone you and this other team member both seem to get along with, and see if they have any pointers for you.

If e-mail is a big issue, maybe read tips on writing office e-mail and see if there's something you're missing, or even run it by someone before sending a few, just to see if there's something you missed.

In the end, though, sometimes there are personality conflicts that are difficult to resolve, especially when you're willing to make accomodations, but they're seemingly contradictory about their needs and/or incapable of adapting themselves.

04-07-16, 02:31 AM
Personally, I would get in touch with the boss and tell him I'd like to revisit his evaluation of your work. Do it really diplomatically. Then create a list or game plan of what you disagreed with and why. Then tell him this is just so you can improve and move in the right direction. As long as you dont go into it with a "he's wrong Im right" attitude it could work out well. And you will prove that you arent a push over and do not accept passive aggressive behavior. Document everything.

04-07-16, 02:19 PM
Thanks for replies. I told him during our conversation that I didn't agree with him... And explained why I think his assessment wasn't correct. We "discussed" that - but his arguments didn't make sense, e.g. he picked only one conversation and told me I hadn't mention something during it but he left out 2 other conversations, during which I actually had mentioned that and had pressured him to solve the issue... To the extent he had seemed upset by my stressing that.

I write everything by email to have evidence in case I need it, but this really doesn't mean anything. Cause if, like in this case, I offer to show someone emails the person says he has no time for that. And I can't do anything.

He also told me I hadn't consider some info when taking some decision. I told him he had only given me that info the day before yesterday. He said: yes, but it's because I hadn't asked him for it before. This was the kind of info that you can't predict that it exists till somebody tells you about it...

I used arguments, he was defending his ego.

I try not to dramatize too much - the overall feedback was positive. But still, I thought I was working with a great boss, actually the best one I've had so far... After yesterday I know he's not a very nice person... Despite all the positive feedback.