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Where to Focus When You Don’t Get Feedback from Your Boss

Working for a boss who doesn’t give feedback can feel like driving a car with no steering wheel, no GPS, and only a vague idea of how many traffic lights you are supposed to go through before you make a left turn. Understandably, an employee might feel lost.

It doesn’t help matters when it seems like the boss has all the information and the answers, but only after you have made an error in judgment. Trying to anticipate your next move without the crystal ball, might be more feasible than you think.

Start by completing your projects on schedule. You can show that you can adapt to challenges, be flexible, and be reliable simply by getting your work done in the time allotted. This will alleviate undue stress from your boss or manager because he/she will not need to worry about hounding you to meet deadlines. Deliver quality. Fewer mistakes and errors decrease follow up time. Think about it: how many calls or emails are generated from simple quality errors at your job? Your boss knows—even if you don’t.

Remember that quality also encompasses communication and integrity. When you communicate well, with clear and concise messages or writing, you are able to be more direct. Whatever you do, stick to the facts, and find appropriate times and places to convey your feelings about a situation—don’t include it in email or voicemail. That being said, carrying yourself with a level of integrity, in your words, actions, and work, will make your boss feel more confident rating you highly.

So the next time you have a boss who gives about as much feedback as a dead microphone, measure yourself against these standards:

  • How much output do you generate, compared with the rest of your peers?

  • What is the quality of the work you produce?

  • Where might there be gaps between your results and job expectations if you were the boss?

Place your focus on these areas and hope that the boss starts paying attention. If that doesn’t happen, you will still be able to outline your own accomplishments and appreciate your self-imposed standards for excellence.

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