Did you ever have one of those bosses where you think you just did some good work on a project, or handled a tough situation well, and your boss says nothing? You start thinking: maybe I didn’t do as well as I thought, maybe he or she just doesn’t like me?
While we don’t like to admit it, it is even worse to have a situation where you know you messed up a few things, but the boss doesn’t discuss it with you. You know he is thinking bad things, but you don’t know what he or she is going to do in response.
Why is feedback so hard to give? Because many people are uncomfortable telling someone the things they didn’t do well, or even complimenting them.
Here are some tips that I think are useful to use with your boss on an on-going basis:
1) Every time you complete a project, a presentation, the handling of a particular issue, etc, ask your boss the following: What went well and what didn’t go well? Really probe so you get maximum feedback and learning.
2) On and on-going basis, like monthly, ask the boss how your work is going. What does the boss like, and what things should you doing differently?
3) As you learn about your flat spots, and we all have them, constantly talk about them with your boss and regularly ask for tips in handling those areas where you need improvement.
What approaches have worked for you in dealing with tight-lipped bosses?