I was reporting to a manager on a very technical proposal. While I was describing my solution the manager interrupted saying a trick I used seemed implausible. Then I responded to him with a why. Expecting to hear his advice, I was irritated because he just said that he had never seen such a method before, yielding at him that if every method has been tried before what we are expected to do/create? He shut up.

Later the performance of my solution turned out very good and exceeded his expectation, but I realized that I can still optimize that project in where he pointed out with the trivial reason. I can find a reasonable drawback of my solution and a better version. But I think the truth is that every part of a solution can be optimized for any system, and his critic only let me pay more attention to that part.

Is it appropriate for a leader to prompt advice with no reason? I don't know what I could do had I were in his shoes. Any advice? Thanks in advance.

  • It's not really useful to gather our opinions on whether what your leader did was appropriate. What will you do with that answer when you get it? It sounds like your question is "was my reaction in that meeting ok?" or "now that I see the advice was actually good, is there something I should do about it?" Can you clarify your question to be more answerable? Jan 6 at 16:21
  • 3
    So... your manager drew your attention to a place that seemed odd and inefficient to him, you got annoyed and snapped back at him, you later discovered that he'd been correct and that there was improvement to be made in that place, and you're asking if he acted inappropriately?
    – Ben Barden
    Jan 6 at 16:21
  • @BenBarden That's right, but I was only annoyed by his reasons. In fact, any place can be improved for any system. Jan 7 at 12:12

Is it acceptable for a manager to question a proposed solution?

Yes. They wouldn't be a very good manager if they just accepted everything at face value. If their questions are put forth in a professional and respectful manner than I would think that you'd welcome the opportunity to explain your solution and why it's the right solution.

Over time they should come to trust you more so long as your proposed solutions meet the objectives in an efficient and cost effective manner.

  • Is that the so-called micromanaging? Apr 21 at 15:31

It seems as though your solution didn't occur to him and he didn't expect it to succeed.

Hopefully next time this happens, he'll be more open to listening.

This isn't a huge issue for you, but your manager may have been a little tactless in response to you.

I wouldn't worry about this.

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