A while ago, I was explaining to someone (who was very agitated by their boss’ feedback) that they shouldn’t expect work expectations in the workplace. I know that sounds very odd and counterintuitive and maybe even counter-productive. I explained, that at times, people are more reactionary than proactive in their instructions and feedback. You know how there’s that phrase, “I know it when I see it”? Well, it holds for everything. Just in case you are not familiar with the phrase, it took hold in popular culture when Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart noted he couldn’t readily define obscenity but “I know it when I see it.”
With the advent and huge foothold that social media has in our collective consciousness, the need to critique has steadily increased. Granted we all put ourselves out there more. We open ourselves up to more critiques across the board. I recently saw a friend post on Facebook how he handled an HR decision. Within minutes, his so-called friends either celebrated his bold move or tore down his insensitive, bad managerial move. And words were not minced. I certainly, before that post, couldn’t tell you whether he was a good manager or not. I could tell you he is smart, very accomplished and funny. Now that he posted a work behavior, I certainly have an opinion on his managerial style. And had I cared enough to comment, I would have noted he could have used more patience, tact and mentorship principles. I didn’t care to comment. I rarely do on Facebook. What’s the point?
At times, sanctimony, self-righteousness, and hubris run rampant. There’s enough people that I like enough to not publicly criticize. Does that make sense? I suppose some would take umbrage with my use of the word criticize wanting for me to instead say constructive feedback. I don’t agree with that take. If you are telling a so-called friend they grossly mishandled a work action in front of hundreds, even thousand of others, it does not fall under constructive criticism.
But I have somewhat distressed. Sure, feel free to note that. I too recognize digression when I see it. But here’s the thing. I’ve gone so far astray I can’t remember what this was supposed to be all about. A rant for sure. I kid. Maybe.
Let me get back to my original thoughts
What I have seen in the workplace are more and more abstract directives that warrant taking shots in the dark. There’s less proactive or rather upfront directives on projects. Some might say this is wonderful for it allows for creativity and way less micromanagement. However, when you struggle and try your best, it may not be to the liking of all or anyone at all. Then you get a lot of “reactive” feedback. It goes something like this:
“Well now that you did the project with no guiding input from me whatsoever, I’ve decided I don’t like what you did. It should have gone like,…..yada yada yada. “
Well, no one will readily put it quite like the above. But, you get the point and you know I’m right. What’s a girl to do. Flush it all down the toilet for that’s the quality and timing of the feedback.
I keep 20 pairs of shoes, at a minimum, under my desk. I change about four times a day. At times, my heels get bigger and bigger. Can you imagine why? Because I imagine bursting their ridiculous bubble.