I have been working in an organization for 1 year and few months. After graduation it is my first job. After 1 year they gave me really good increment and recognized me as one of their really good employees. But I am facing an issue there and I'm not sure what to do about it.


My team leader does not provide me any negative feedback or constructive criticism. If something is his opinion is not right then he does not point out that thing to me but directly informs about that to his senior, who is project manager.

I am worried that because of this the project manager would be thinking that team lead talks to me but I do not listen to him. Once I was called by project manager and CEO to talk about my interest in the work, and I had no idea what caused those meetings. Apparently team lead had told them that I'm not interested...And project manager also asked me how are my terms with the team lead i.e. is he helpful to me...

It was few months after this that I got a good increment. And obviously that was good feedback of team lead that contributed in that increment.

After those meetings with manager and CEO, I really wanted to ask team lead about this that what am I doing wrong. But I did not, and recently something has happened again that instead of first talking to me, he approached project manager.

I really want to ask team lead about this. And since he prefers to involve manager too, so I wanna talk about it to him too. But I am a straight forward person, I do not know any politics. And I do not have much professional experience. So, I'm afraid that if I'll ask them then things can get complicated for me.

I'll also mention that I'm not a very talkative person. And usually some people think that it is difficult to talk to me because I'm very reserved. But it should not stop a team lead from talking to his subordinate...

How can I encourage my Team Lead to give me the negative feedback directly before escalating management? Should I simply ask team lead to provide me negative feedback? Will it be wise to write it in an email and 'CC' to project manager too?

  • 6
    I would expect Project Manager to be quite annoyed with Team Leader that he bothers them with all kinds of interpersonal issues he could and should better resolve himself.
    – Philipp
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 12:00
  • @Philipp, He is very smart and experienced person. In general every one in office likes him, including project manager. In general he is really helpful to me and others for work related matters. That's why I think if his is directly going to manager then manager would think that he would have talked to his subordinate, but subordinate did not listen...
    – blackfyre
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 12:33
  • @Joe Strazzere, okay. And I should not talk to project manager, unless he directly talks about it to me. Is this right?
    – blackfyre
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 13:00
  • 2
    What I am missing in the question is facts. I see only conjectures that your team lead might be telling negative things to the project manager. The one conjecture that may have some supporting facts is that you got a raise twice.
    – user8036
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 13:22
  • 3
    @user1204089 - I appreciate where you are coming from but if you spend your whole time worried about offending people (within reason) then you may never get a straight answer. If you ask a perfectly reasonable question within a polite and non-emotive discussion and someone is offended by it, then the problem is theirs and not yours. You are keen to find out why this is happening and resolve it. Your motivations should be seen as honourable by your Team Lead
    – Mike
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 13:37

3 Answers 3


The best thing to do would be to have a chat with your team lead. And yes, your talk to your team lead should not include anything about the team lead telling your higher management about you not being interested. Your question should be about your personal development where you ask him/her what you can do to improve your skills.

The best way to prevent these kind of issues in future is to make sure that your lead is comfortable talking to you about your faults (or what he/she presumes are your faults). The expectation that your lead will tell you about your performance might not work out always. Hence, get him/her comfortable by initiating the communication from your side in a positive way. Take it as an opportunity to improve your skills by getting feedback from your lead. This is an interpersonal skill that will serve you well in the future.

PS: As an afterthought, just asking someone to provide negative feedback might not work. I have been asked the same by some teammates and I find it difficult to put up with these requests. Also, shooting out an email with the manager in CC is a nice way to blow up your relations with your lead.

  • I do think this is good advice for the first and hopefully last step, but I think this team lead is trying to put blame on someone else and doesn't just have an aversion to the OP. If the team lead goes to the supervisor first without giving the person the change to make a correction or at least defend himself, the situation isn't going to improve.
    – user8365
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 14:00
  • @JeffO, do you have some suggestion for me?
    – blackfyre
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 14:32
  • 1
    Yes, do what Unsung suggests. If you boss continues to give negative feedback to supervisors before coming to you, have another talk and ask you be given a chance to make the necessary changes.
    – user8365
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 15:19

In some companies, your team lead provides only technical leadership, such as choosing an architecture, deciding what will be in the next release, and so on. They are not your manager and are not supposed to give you a performance review.

In these companies, the people who do give you performance reviews know that the team leads are closely connected to you (and your peers) and they can ask them "how is user1204089 doing? How is the skill level, how is the interest level?" Depending on what they hear from the team leader, they may talk to you and ask you how it's going or what they can do for you. This is very different from the team leader approaching them and saying "hey, user1204089 is just not interested in the work." It's even possible that after observing you and talking to you they have already concluded that your team leader isn't very good about providing information about you.

It's important that you know who in the company is assessing and reviewing you. If it's the team leader, you can take steps to make sure that the team leader tells you as well as (not instead of, this sounds like you want to get away with bad performance) the higher-ups. If it's one of the higher-ups, you can mention to this person that you'd like more frequent feedback about how you're doing, and even ask whether the team leader is a good person to go to for that feedback.

In other companies the team lead manages you, and is responsible for making you better. Some managers, who aren't good at their jobs, try to set up other people as "fall guys" by whispering bad things about them. If you have such a lead, my condolences. But the good news is that your higher-ups don't appear to be fooled. They are giving you salary increases and praise. Work as directly and openly with this lead as you can. For example, you could email the team lead, cc-ing a higher-up, saying "Ms Higher-Up mentioned today that you are worried I am not interested in learning that new database tool. I'm so sorry you got that impression. I would love to learn it. When can we meet to talk about specific steps and timing?"

The most important thing to do is to keep doing a good job, and to have the confidence that you are doing so. The next most important thing is open communication with everyone around you. When the higher-ups bring you in for a discussion, see it as a good thing. Hear as much as you can and make sure they know where you stand and how you feel as well. Don't get into secretive or sneaky conversations behind anyone's back.


book a meeting with PM and team lead 20min. titled project feed back and status: reoccurring once a week. note A resone like: require more feedback on project to ensure success.

present your stats on your work and ask your teamlead for conserns. Ensure the PM is there when your doing this. if he is not there send your TL the meeting notes and CC PM. had this issue in the past and this worked wonders. TL got really good at giving me feed back and i was ensured that i had my ass covered whit the meeting notes.

also note: in first meeting ask PM if he would like rest of team there. :) meeting notes are everything ensure the PM is invited to each meeting with your TL. so have a legit resone to send him notes from your meeting. if your TL is being a dick for no particular resone the PM will find out in a hurry. and if you do have some problems you will find out at the same time as your PM... and thats a good thing. because your PM will know this is the first he heard about it.

knowledge and communication is the key... that means you have to be there when he's talking about you. so you book that meeting. when they ask why your booking it you tell them you need more feedback because your not getting enough.. DO NOT MENTION positive or negativity you just want Feedback


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