I work on a team of 23 people, and am still considered a junior in my field. I have been employed with my company for going on two years and over the last couple months have noticed that most coworkers express their concerns of me with others instead of me.
I am the kind of person that I like to understand what I've done wrong, or what I am doing that bothers others so that I can correct my actions prior to the concerns being expressed to others. Most of their concerns are harmless but are none the less negative comments and they are expressed to my superior instead of myself. This looks bad on me as I don't have the chance to take corrective action prior to my superior saying something to me.
A perfect example would be yesterday; I had a debate with a colleague regarding a simple theory and why I've implemented things the way I have. During this debate there was quite a bit of miscommunication and I found this to be true in retrospect. However, due to this miscommunication my colleague believed I was simply arguing with him and thought that I had to prove my way of doing things as correct even if in certain situations it would be wrong. This isn't the case and I hate that it was taken that way.
Another issue with this route is that my superior won't name who is making the comments so that I can apologize and reassure my colleagues that I will address their concerns. I do understand taking comments in confidentiality, but such simple comments should be addressed between the coworkers in question in my opinion.
I work in a software environment in which debates are very useful; they are typically not in the fashion of arguments but more of weighing pros and cons of each option presented. I walk away from debates that turn into arguments as they are no longer useful and just take up time.
My superior isn't the team lead; he is simply the elder employee with my company amongst a team comprised of multiple companies; there are actually only four employees on the team from our company in which only my direct superior has expressed any concern.
I try to remain relatively quiet at work and do what I need to get done for the day; this works well for me but occasionally I need to ask for help with a particular issue and this is where these debates can begin.
A coworker can come over offering a solution, I implement the solution and it may not work so we begin discussing alternate solutions and other coworkers may overhear the conversation and join in with their own ideas causing debates to begin. Often these are useful but if miscommunication occurs and the one offering new ideas doesn't understand what the underlying process is and why it is written that way it can get to the situation I had yesterday.
How can I handle these situations where coworkers make comments to my superiors instead of myself in a professional manner. My superiors are busy just like everyone else and I can see that it may frustrate them if others are coming to them to complain about me.
Since learning of these comments I've began taking corrective action, but it frustrates me that I have to learn of these concerns through my superior.