This is usually the most stressful phase of my work life for the whole year. Not only does it take a lot of effort to write in “intelligent blabber” of all my work achievements for the past year, but it also includes a face to face session with my line manager to receive feedback, share successes and agree on goals and targets for next year. Yeah, some companies may take this lightly. But at the Dutch Oil Company, we take it REALLY seriously.
Unfortunately, this year it unexpectedly became more stressful when suddenly, my boss requested from me, personally, for some feedback. Now, now, giving your boss feedback is not easy! It is probably even harder than receiving feedback.
Of course, if it is about giving feedback to a peer, it’s a totally different story. But when it comes to writing on paper constructive criticism for a person who, at the end of the day would decide how much bonus you would take home at the end of the year, then it’s a whole different ballpark. Usually, workers take the stance of “do nothing” although they believe that their boss should change (for the better). They would almost always suck it up, or think that it is just “part of the job”.
Please do not get me wrong. My boss is great. In fact my line manager is better. No one is perfect, and I can tell you off hand in an informal conversation between friends about what I wish my boss could do better. But I’m just a bit reluctant to give FORMAL negative feedback. I attribute it to being brought up in the Malaysian culture – we are naturally conflict avoiders.
Looks like I would have to sleep on it. This is pretty scary territory....