About me : I have just graduated and started working on a new startup in its product development phase. The team is about 6-7 people. I am by nature an introvert a really calm type of person, i don't usually initiate the talks with others.

What Happened : As i don't communicate a lot with others, a lot of time i have felt that the senior members of our startup not the engineers one but the CEO and the manager feel like i don't work a lot and i don't contribute enough in term of values. But in reality i do care about my work and the product we are creating, as a matter of fact i have taken the self proclaimed standard defining responsibility for the whole team, because as they started the coding standard was very poor, one day i sit with all of them teach them the technology we are working on. I might not be contributing in terms of writing code but i am making sure the product doesn't turn into piece of crap, which is super important for a new product being developed.
My mistake being is that i don't communicate this thing with CEO and other big players but my manager knows it too. But still last day CEO call me and grilled me for my performance and telling me that the other guys are doing much better than me.

My Problem : Now i feel like i really don't know how to behave in office environment, one thing i have figured out is that all the seniors have corporate culture fed up in their mind, they don't care about new startup cultures. So as a beginner i am asking some list of things that i should take care in an office environment in terms of communicating the problem to seniors, in terms of communicating with them like daily usual talk because i haven't talked to seniors a lot since i have joined only the engineers because we are geeks by nature. Also all the things that as an employee i should take care about working on project, what matters more deliverable amount vs product quality and all the other things that you guys think i should know and always follow. Help me make a cheat sheet kind of thing for office.

  • What is your question? You want a list of etiquette? Questions that do not have a goal to address are off topic here, can you rephrase your question please?
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 30, 2017 at 4:03
  • Consider going through this question, workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/96084/…
    – Bluebird
    Sep 30, 2017 at 4:08
  • Don't P on the carpet?
    – Kilisi
    Sep 30, 2017 at 4:26
  • Closed unclear. Lists are off-topic and I can't quite tell what you're asking. Is this about being new to an office culture? New to the workforce? A lack of support from colleagues/management?
    – Lilienthal
    Sep 30, 2017 at 11:26

1 Answer 1


You're asking the wrong question here. It's not etiquette that caught you out, you were told you weren't performing because you weren't doing what your boss expected you to do.

So how do you resolve this?

Make sure you confirm with your manager what you are supposed to be doing

While you might be doing something to improve the quality of the product, that is actually your manager's and the business owner's concern. If you haven't been told to do this, then don't do this. Get your manager to give you tasks and deadlines.

Make sure that your boss is aware of your progress

You said that you got in trouble for not being as productive as your colleagues. You need to communicate through your manager that you are meeting the targets that you have been set.

Manage upwards

If you are being blocked or unsure of what to do, talk to your manager. That is their purpose. The fact that you have been given a talking to for not doing what you are supposed to be doing means that you are either inventing your own tasks or you aren't communicating with what you need to be doing.


While you feel the problem you have is one of etiquette, it really is a case of not communicating with your manager on your tasks and expected time frames. If you fix this, you fix the "etiquette" problem.

  • 1
    I like the manage upwards, that is the key
    – Kilisi
    Sep 30, 2017 at 5:28
  • 1
    Thanks! Managing upwards has served me very well for many years :) When a manager knows what you are doing and where you are up to then they have a far better idea of where the project sits. Don't wait to be asked, tell them :)
    – Jane S
    Sep 30, 2017 at 5:32

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