What did I do wrong?

This is how the presumption of guilt starts, you wonder from the start “What did I do wrong?” – especially when your boss calls you for a meeting. Generally speaking, this only happens when you get accustomed to being summoned when something bad occurs and only in very rare cases when you do something good.

do wrong

For example, the boss (at work, not the one at home) tells you they wish to speak to you about your last email sent to the company’s most important client. All of a sudden, you start picturing the worse scenarios since you are convinced they are not calling you to sing your appraisal.

This is where your nightmare starts and you go over that freaking email for more than 30 times: from subject and salutation, through content, up to the more or less formal ending formula. Finally, you realize there is nothing far-fetched, it’s just you being used to getting “whipped” no matter if there is any reason for it. 

Some managers are so good at emphasizing all the bad stuff you accomplish, that even when you achieve something, you no longer expect a good word. It’s about that constructive feedback which turns quickly into finger pointing; no hint about what you should do to improve from this point on. 

Why should you provide positive feedback (even) more often than negative one? Because the recipient will feel appreciated, and communication – either good or bad – doesn’t have to take place only when the year ends or during performance reviews. When you emphasize something good, you have more chances for that behavior to reoccur. 

If the feedback doesn’t help, other than making someone miserable, hold it in. You want to point out the tasks that weren’t achieved? This can be an approach… but it will be a whole lot helpful if you tell them how to achieve them and by doing so to come with improved results next time. 

Good luck succeeding!

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