AKA A Short Story About Feedback
I was talking with my manager the other day after not seeing her for a few days, and before I could stop myself the words just started tumbling out of my mouth:
I know you haven’t been in the office much lately, and when you have, you’ve been so busy that the door’s closed most of the time. But after losing contact on some of the projects we’re working on I start to wonder, “Is it me? Did I do something wrong?” I start to second guess myself even when there’s nothing going on. Are we good?
Her response? Assume we’re good. If we’re not, I will let you know.
I stopped for a second to let that soak in. Don’t assume the worst if you don’t talk with your manager for a few days. Don’t let the doubt get in your way when there’s no valid reason for it. Don’t assume the worst, because it will leech away your energy and enthusiasm and replace it with fear and doubt.
My manager is one of the best I’ve ever seen when it comes to giving feedback and constructive criticism when necessary. So when there is a lapse in the flow of communication, it’s immediately obvious.
Like all of the great ideas and quotes I run across at work (like the “wasting time at work” metaphor I’ve come to love), I wrote it on a Post-It and stuck it on my white board. (Someday I need to write a series based on those notes, because there is serious wisdom up there.) I use those notes to remind me of what really matters in the day-to-day.
What about you? Do you have that same nagging feeling when you aren’t able to communicate with those you normally work closely with? Do you automatically believe the worst or do you assume the best?