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To Ask What My Manager Meant?

125 replies

Mumbojumbob · 27/09/2018 18:21

Today I asked my line manager for feedback (I’m in 3 months probation in my first senior role) and his general words were:

‘Really happy with your work and performance. I’ve been meaning actually to get some time with you, we’ll go off site and have a chat about other things’

I asked ‘oh ok, are there things we need to chat about?’

‘Yeah, it’s just some development points and we’ll go off site so we can have a proper chat about it. It’s some points about interaction with the team and how we can work on that. It’s some points for development that you can work on’

I said ok and that’s fine, we’ll put some time in etc but now I’m in a flap.

For reference, I’m socially awkward and this is a very senior role and a big step up from my previous roles.

I’m now running over every interaction I’ve had at work and analysing how professional/ unprofessional I’ve been and who I’ve possibly pissed off etc etc.

Things that conflate the situation:
I have generalised anxiety disorder

This week has been very stressful and I’m uneven mentally because of that.

I feel unsteady at the moment because I’m desperate to do well in the role

I think I’ve been too loud/ too ‘up’ and too jokey in the office but have no way to gauge if this is the case.

I might have been too keen to point out errors on things from previous teams

I may have celebrated too much when things go well or talked about it too much

I could have been too short/ snippy with someone

I could come off as cold sometimes to people

I’m always busy and have a lot on. People are very aware of this which could make me unapproachable

I may have been too friendly with junior staff on my team (not in an in appropriate way!)

I may not have been friendly enough with the other teams

It just might be really obvious I’m not ready for this role and he’s going to demote me (this is my biggest fear)

All of the above.

There’s no time to get together before next week so I now have that pit of the stomach anxiety about it. Something like this wouldn’t trigger me unless I was feeling unsteady in the first place, so that’s a factor.

Wibu to talk to him on Monday and ask him what it is specifically I need to work on? I’m now scared to speak normally in case that’s the thing that’s flagging up to him Sad

This isn’t normal, is it?

OP posts:
VickyEadie · 27/09/2018 18:23

It's his job to give you 'development points', not just tell you he's happy with your work (which he is, he said so).

Appraisal and professional development also means you are entitled to get developmental feedback - and again, it's his job to provide you with that.

Stop worrying.

Merryoldgoat · 27/09/2018 18:25

You need to calm down - your work is good, anything concerning would’ve already been raised.

Just wait and see.

YouCantTourniquetTheTaint · 27/09/2018 18:29

Have you managed people before? I think it's unreasonable to expect someone to become a manager without training.

They've said your work is good, that's great. Now you're going to have some pointers to work on.

Do some calm breathing, calm down and at just get back at.

Read the 1 minute manager. It's fab, then read who stole my cheese.

LoisLanyard · 27/09/2018 18:29

Your manager sounds supportive - he has given you positive feedback, and has offered to provide support on team relationships - by taking it off site then it is more informal and relaxed? You do seem to be over thinking this, and I appreciate that you say you have anxiety, and I think this has influenced your thought pattern perhaps. In terms of being demoted, remember that your manager said he is really pleased with your work and performance - it doesnt sound like you are in trouble. And all the behaviours you've listed quite frankly sound like half my office team - these seem like perfectly normal behaviour. Hope that has helped a little bit!

FishesaPlenty · 27/09/2018 18:30

For reference, I’m socially awkward

Well there you are, me too. I'd love someone senior to tell me what I'm doing wrong with regards to the social bits that I just don't get. That's what he means isn't it?

JontyDoggle37 · 27/09/2018 18:33

Well, he’s told you your work is good, AND he’s willing to invest time with you to work on your development - that says he values you enough to invest his time in you. I’m also in a senior role and also quite anxious, so I know exactly where you’re coming from. What his comment has done, is make you evaluate where you might have been ‘over the top’ - which is great, because you’ve recognised a few things you can work on. Have a think about how you tackle them (my answer to most of these would be ‘keep your counsel’ - I.e. sit back and consider a little more before you speak/act). Then you are prepared if he raises any of the points he already identified, and if he doesn’t raise those, great, you’ve already got your own plan for improving. Whenever you step, you WILL NOT BE PERFECT. Remember every day you’re in the job, you’re learning to be better at it. I try to do a little mental review on the train home - how did today go? What 3 things went well? What one thing would I do better tomorrow? Always acknowledge your successes as well as your development points. In the grand cheerleading style, “You’ve got this!”

Seniorschoolmum · 27/09/2018 18:34

Op, calm down. He will tell you in time what he thinks need adjusting. Trying to second guess him will drive you crazy.

He may think you need to socialise more or less, to be more or less demanding of your team. Or something else. It depends on the job culture, the specific job, the experience of your team and perhaps on future plans that you don’t know about yet.
Rather than worrying, make sure you go into the meeting with an open mind, not defensive, and listen carefully to what he says. Make notes, question anything you don’t understand, and make sure there is a further checkpoint for you to make sure you have got the balance as they want it.
Most first ‘big’ jobs include this, so this isn’t unusual. I’m sure you’ll be fine. Brew

MirriVan · 27/09/2018 18:41

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Emmageddon · 27/09/2018 18:48

Really happy with your work and performance

Focus on that sentence and stop projecting about everything else. If you were unprofessional/unapproachable/unfriendly, he would have sought you out for a 1:1 way before 3 months in the job.

Calm down, stop fretting, think positive.

mostdays · 27/09/2018 18:50

He sounds like he's very happy with your work and performance and wants to support you to continue developing in the role.

topcat2014 · 27/09/2018 18:53

Well done by getting to be a manager whilst also 'socially awkward' - that is an achievement.

I remember my first management job. I also remember my first MD. He inspired me to do more, in that I 'wanted' to do a good job for him.

I also took on board criticism (and sometimes needed a strong G&T when getting home) and it is what has made me a director these days.

You will be fine :)

leesylou · 27/09/2018 18:53

Don’t worry too much. Your manager has told you he’s happy with your work and performance so that’s a positive. If you were doing things that really upset others he would have spoken to you by now. If he isn’t in a rush to have this other meeting with you it can’t be anything to worry about. I wouldn’t speak to him on Monday IIWY, leave it to him to arrange your meeting and try not to stress too much about it.

Botanicbaby · 27/09/2018 18:54

Don’t over analyse it OP. I know easier said than done but please try.

I wonder if you’re suffering from imposter syndrome?

AssassinatedBeauty · 27/09/2018 18:56

Is it common to want to go "off site" to do performance management meetings?

Gottensomedraws · 27/09/2018 19:00

Please focus on the good bits - your successes and his summary of you so far! He may want to talk to you away from the office to discuss more confidential plans and ideas with you, it might be that he always does this with staff to be in a more informal place ( my boss prefers to meet 1-1 in a coffee shop to chat). You won’t know until then, but focus on the positives until then OP, he has given you good feedback so far.

TooTrueToBeGood · 27/09/2018 19:02

Am i the only one that reads it like he's planning to proposition the OP?

Mumbojumbob · 27/09/2018 19:02

Big sufferer of imposter syndrome, I know that. It’s horrible because I constantly feel like I’m going to be ‘found out’ and he’s going to realise he made a mistake hiring me. That’s where a lot of my anxiety comes from.

OP posts:
itsbritneybiatches · 27/09/2018 19:03

Op that sounds really positive. I'm a worrier too so I would also focus on what I saw as the negatives but like people have said he wants to develop you.

Your role should always have room for development if possible.

Try and focus on the porous points.
Well done you x

Mumbojumbob · 27/09/2018 19:05

Also I’m not a manager. I’m a head of, I’m under 30 by a couple of years and I have managed people before, but not at this higher level.

Age is a big factor here too, I feel like I’m technically good (the good performance bit) but everything else is well below par, hence why I feel like I’m going to get found out all the time.

OP posts:
Dollymixture22 · 27/09/2018 19:07

This could be me - over thinking everything. Catastrophising.

You are so new in this role of course he has development points. I manage people, and in my field it is seen as lazy management if you don’t point out areas for improvement, beciase everyone has them.

It sounds as if he is just going to give you a few pointers - he is taking his management and mentoring role seriously. Don’t panic, show you can deal with this. It’s a great opportunity,

It will be fine. Also he has said he is happy, if he wasn’t you would be going off site for a causal chat!!

0hCrepe · 27/09/2018 19:12

Wow at 28 I could barely manage my way through a supermarket. Sounds like you’re doing amazingly well and you wouldn’t get away with not being good at it. He wants to talk to you off site, maybe he wants to warn you about some of the staff, give you a heads up for the future, not necessarily bring up something you’ve done. Either way he sounds supportive and pleased with what you’ve done so far.

Disquieted1 · 27/09/2018 19:22

Having this meeting off site is quite irregular. Long serving colleagues of equal rank, fine. But a male boss and new female employee?
Even if it is innocent you're both leaving yourselves wide open to gossip and innuendo.
I think it's bizarre that he would put you both in this position.

Tread carefully.


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Puggles123 · 27/09/2018 19:22

It sounds like he wants to give constructive support in developing, don’t view it as a telling off as such.

NonaGrey · 27/09/2018 19:24

Really happy with your work and performance

^^ this bit, focus on this bit!!!!

Even if you were doing nothing wrong there would still be things you could do better.

If you are new to the role then of course there are things you could do better!

Everyone needs to seek to improve all the time - it’s the very nature of personal and professional development!

Take a deep breath and get some perspective. If you were rubbish and everyone was complaining about you he’d have taken you aside long before this.

I’m really, really good at my job (so modest Grin) and I love getting feedback on what I can improve.

Anything that helps me be even better at my job, a better manager, a better colleague or employee is incredibly helpful.

Improvements aren’t necessarily negative. Sometimes it’s “you did xyz a little differently last time - we really liked that do more of that”

And even if it is something that you aren’t doing as well as possible then being told about it is an incredible gift. If you know about it you can fix it.

Your manager (who after 3 months is really pleased with you) wants you to become even better, the best version of you. That’s pretty awesome (and is the sign of a good manager).

You did a hard but important thing, you asked for feedback.

Having asked for it you need yo listen calmly to what you are told and made a plan for implementing it.

Go be even more fabulous than you are Mumbo Flowers

Maursh · 27/09/2018 19:25

The off-site bit sounds to me as if he wants to tell you some things that he isn't comfortable being overhead. Maybe he doesn't want to talk about you, but fill you in on other stuff (eg people, politics, confidential business developments, such as redundancies).

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