Do you ask for feedback or wait for backlash?

Trigger Question #152

Please stop saying, ‘Good Dog. Good dog.’ It’s not helpful. I need you to be more specific.

. . .

I am always bemused… Please note that I am bemused, not amused. This topic is no laughing matter.

I am always perplexed when people tell me they don’t get feedback at work, so they can’t always tell how they are doing. Excuse me? Are you telling me that you wait for feedback?

Here’s what bewilders me. This is your job, your role, your career, your future, but you don’t take charge of it? Like seeking information about your performance? Why on earth not? Time was when you could not stop shouting, “Mommy! Daddy! Look at me! Look at me!” Back then, you thrived on feedback.

So stop kidding around with your career. Ask for feedback.

Now, let’s play pop psychology. What happened when your parents checked out and ignored your “Look at me! Look at me!”? Maybe you did something bad on purpose just to get a reaction. (I’m sure you’ve seen that nonsense happen at work.)

If you are a leader, a manager or a boss, then be present, be observant, and give timeous feedback. Don’t be disengaged and disinterested. Don’t ignore only to backlash when you finally refocus.

And if you are a leader, a manager or a boss, chances are that you also don’t get helpful feedback. Nor are you shown appreciation. Well, have you asked?

Remember, the higher up the ladder you are, the less direct feedback you will get. If you climb even higher, then any direct feedback will be even phonier. And any useful feedback will be indirect, aimed at your back.

How do you get more direct feedback? Ask. And how should you deal with indirect feedback aimed at your back? Turn around. Then ask.

But, be careful. Unless you know how to ask, the feedback will still be unreliable.


(Okay, okay, I’ll explain. Don’t make people uncomfortable by asking direct questions such as “How am I doing?” You’re the boss. How do you expect them to answer? Do this instead: Make them participants in your performance by asking them, “How can we improve on this?” That should be enough to seduce them into saying something nice about you. It might still be indirect, but hey, at your level you should take what you can get.)

. . .

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.

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