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I am working on outsourcing organization. I have worked with various other teams and people while executing an assignment. How ever while evaluating, based on the feedback gathered from all the sources my boss made me some comments and some conclusions on my abilities. How ever I feel that those conclusions and comments are not correct. I am welcome to feedback and I am happy to improve, but I am clearly feel that those feedback comments and conclusions are not correct. In such case I can not put my investment in those areas to improve and that feedback didn't helped me to realize where exactly I am not good and where I have to put my efforts to improve. My boss himself is not willing to prove those comments/conclusions as those are not coming from his own observation and from his own experience with me. Discussion went long and we argued, finally my boss move on to next step which is motivating myself and suggesting how to improve. But those are not going to help me because those comments are not correct. Finally meeting was ended. Then I went to home and think about that feedback with relaxed mind and reviewed my performance again. I feel that I haven't done great. But not worst. I feel that I am not deserved to those comments and those comments on my abilities are not correct.

So next day I have write a mail saying that "I really love to improve and thank you so much for your feedback. Based on discussion I have realized x,y and z. I agree with x completely and partially Y. How ever I am sorry to express that I am unable to agree with Z. And also regarding X and Y for last 'n' months I have been improved significantly and I will put my consistent efforts to improve further more. My humble request is please provide another opportunity"

I feel that I did was a good job. Then that evening when it happened to met my boss he asked me "Why did you wrote such lengthy mail? What do you expect me to do". Then I feel bad. Did I do any mistake here? How could I have done better?

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@Péter Török Indeed. :-) However, I think the question stands on its own. –  David Segonds Nov 29 '12 at 10:26
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@DavidSegonds, indeed, that's why I didn't say it were a duplicate. I just wanted to ensure that readers get the bigger picture. –  Péter Török Nov 29 '12 at 10:34
    
@Péter Török This is a very good point. –  David Segonds Nov 29 '12 at 10:48
    
I can't tell if you agree or disagree with your boss. –  Ramhound Dec 3 '12 at 13:46
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5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

As a general principle, and for this particular situation, I would refer to Habit 5 of The seven habits of highly effective people which is seek first to understand, then to be understood

Personally, rather than writing a message, I would have gone to my boss the next day and have a dialogue with him expressing that I was confused about item Z and was seeking additional clarification. Then, I would have reflected on my own and decided if a behavior adjustment was warranted or not. I would not necessarily have shared this introspection with my boss.

If a face to face meeting is not possible, then I would make sure that I seek to understand in the first few lines of the message. This is important because your manager, like you, is probably overwhelmed by messages and helping him process messages faster is important.

This page may also help you communicate more effectively with your colleagues.

This being said, your attitude of wanting to improve by seeking feedback and modifying your behavior accordingly is admirable.

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+1 for seven habits, but also for emphasis on the face to face meeting. In my experience, very few issues or conflicts are resolved via e-mail; in fact more often than not, e-mails tend to escalate situations, not resolve them. –  GuyM Nov 29 '12 at 11:00
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It is not normal for people to be successful in declaring parts of their evaluation to be incorrect. Whether you feel that a statement isn't accurate ("you said I take too long to do X, but that's because I get all the hard X'es to do") or a condition isn't important ("you said some of the customers think I'm rude, but that doesn't matter because I write great code and that's whats important") your boss is paid to do a number of things that you (presumably) are not yet as good at:

  • evaluate you
  • evaluate your peers
  • gather information about you and your peers from others in the company
  • know what matters to the company
  • understand the longer term consequences of short term actions

You may think you are better than your boss at these things. You may even be right (though again you may not.) But the chances that you will be able to prove that to your boss and have the action taken that you desire are essentially nil.

Ask more questions. Listen. Either take the actions your boss wants you to take, or start quietly looking for another job. Or both. There is a lot you can learn from a boss who will honestly tell you where you are going wrong, especially when your errors are those of deciding what matters more than they are of execution. There is also a lot to be learned working with someone who doesn't appreciate you much, including when it is time to move on.

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In my experience, e-mail is probably the worst communication channel you can use for dispute resolution.

I have seen very, very few disagreements that have been fully resolved via e-mail, but I have encountered many situations where e-mails served to escalate the situation.

I do find on a personal standpoint that writing a long e-mail (or perhaps more safely, a text document that cannot be accidently sent!) is an excellent way to help marshal my thoughts and feelings, structure potential discussions and test out key phrases, but this is in preparation for a face-to-face meeting, skype conversation or phone call.

These three (in order) should be your the channels of choice for any kind of conflict resloution.

E-mails are useful for (unemontional) documentation of facts (not views, thoughts or feelings) after a meeting, where they can provide a clean record of what was discussed that can be sent to all parties for their records.

There is a lot of good advice regarding effective use of e-mails, and when to use them - this piece from Harvard Business School is a good starting point.

To answer the main thrust of your question, it is useful to consider the e-mail you sent from a different perspective:

You have chosen a written, formal communication channel to highlight areas where you think your manager's judgement is incorrect. As the area you have chosen to critique (line management) is part of his role, and so essentially you are telling your line manager that he doesn't know how to do his job properly.

While this might not have been your intention, it is certainly one way in which a long e-mail of this type could be interpreted.

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From what you have written here, I don't see any big mistake. You apparently did what I myself would have done in a similar situation: have some sleep, calm down, analyse the situation with a clear head, then write a carefully worded mail to explain your point in written, persistent form.

It is not clear how much of the good advice received to your previous post you have actually used so I can't assess the constructiveness and problem-solving efficiency of your mail. Also, maybe you could have cut it shorter and more to the point, to save your boss' time and improve the efficiency of your message.

At any rate, it seems that your boss has already made up his mind and is not willing to change his decision. We know far from enough about the background story to be able to tell what's really going on, but to me it surely sounds like you won't be able to win this uphill battle and to build a constructive relationship with your managers, so your best option may be to start looking for another job...

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You haven't done any thing big mistake. You just did what is reasonable and acceptable.

But seems to be situation not in-favor to you. Your boss has already made up mind and is not willing to change. Politely ask them do you have any other opportunity. If not ask him a favor by providing references so that they can help you.

Polish your resume and search for opportunities some where else.

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