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Challenging feedback

#1 Challenging feedback
21/06/2015 20:12


Evening all,

I'm here to consult the collective experience of this community.

Is there any wisdom in challenging feedback you feel is just utterly inaccurate - bordering on vindictive even - provided by a Director to say a SC?

Bearing the following in mind - leaving the firm anyway, up to the next grade of say M - at another Big 4.

I so badly want to call him out on his bull - but conscious of what a small world this incestous game is. Don't want to call him an assh0le today only for him to come to my new firm tomorrow as a partner.

But I want to say something so bad!

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#2 RE: Challenging feedback
21/06/2015 20:54

pjgovind to Bravehearted (#1)

I know the feeling. Sadly, wait for Karma or until you are in a position of power over him. Then play your cards right!

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#3 RE: Challenging feedback
21/06/2015 21:09

MikeTC to Bravehearted (#1)

On the flip side if he did end up above you at your new firm further down the line, would you want to put up with the same crap again?

If it's genuinely inaccurate, I'd challenge it in a professional way directly to the guy. Perhaps he's not fully clued up on what you've achieved.

BUT ask yourself if there are actual real discrepancies in it as opposed to differences of opinion/expectation. It's not going to feel good if you challenge it and get dressed down with reasons as to why you got the feedback in the first place.

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#4 RE: Challenging feedback
22/06/2015 00:30

Frio to MikeTC (#3)

Good advice from MikeT.

If you get involved in a battle of "he said this, then I said that - and it was totally unfair", there will only be one winner and it won't be you.

If you have concrete evidence that the feedback is undeserved then do challenge it, but do it in the right way. Discuss it with the Director first.

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#5 RE: Challenging feedback
22/06/2015 07:55

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Frio (#4)

I have often encountered this. It is usually the result of a phenomenon that psychologists term "projection". In giving you this feedback that seems to you to be completely disconnected from reality, then assuming you have any self-awareness whatsoever, the fact that you don't recognise any truth in what he is saying indicates that he is most probably "projecting" his own weaknesses and faults onto you.

So, just note him as an idiot and don't try to please him because you won't be able to do so. Move away from him. If anybody asks, share your thoughts about him freely with them so that they know too.

And let it be known that your employer tolerates such situations. It is a management problem! The people must know of the toxic culture.

Here endeth the lesson.

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#6 RE: Challenging feedback
22/06/2015 10:15

Phil to Bravehearted (#1)

Agree with everything that has been said but on the other have nothing to gain from this.

It would be different if you were staying with your current firm. In that case, you would want to have your reputation 'restored' and make sure that other Directors don't get a bad impression of your work based on an unfair feedback.

But you are leaving. This means they will probably dedicate 2 minutes to you in the review period (assuming there will be one before you leave) and the negative feedback will be forgotten by the following week - nobody will care. Also, it greatly diminishes any value they would give to your word or the importance of keeping you happy acting in a fair way (you are out of the door anyway - who do you think they will side with? The Director who is staying or the junior who is leaving?).

I appreciate the personal element here - you have the perception of not having done anything wrong and it might be frustrating to let him get away with that but, ultimately, who cares? Pick a battle with the guy and you never know how this may bite you back one day - he may join your new firm or, more likely, he may know someone at the firm you are going to join, you may find him as a client...the world is a small place!

Stay put, leave on good terms, discuss the feedback with him if you like but with a 'help me understand how to do better' attitude and keep his name written in big letters on your agenda - the world is a small place for him as much as it is for you. Who knows? You might be the one that bites him back 10 years down the line

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#7 RE: Challenging feedback
22/06/2015 13:32

marsday to Bravehearted (#1)

Lots of great advice on this, so wont add much but..

This will likely remain with you, and if not dealt with correctly undermine you subconsciously in your new role. First things, separate the message of the feedback from the delivery of the feedback. And ask yourself how much of it was poor delivery (could have been said better, was skewed by tone etc). And how much of it was what you heard/chose to hear?

Im not vindicating the Director, Im saying dont rush to judgements and reactions.

I agree 100% with Phil - approach this as a 'want to understand how to do better' conversation, but prefaced with 'we are all on the same side here right?'. Worst case scenario you confirm the Director is simply vindictive, best case scenario you find that what you heard was not meant to be negative, just developmental and you chose not to hear the positives with it.

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#8 RE: Challenging feedback
23/06/2015 00:52

detoilet Consultant to Bravehearted (#1)


what surprises me as a Scot you haven't reverted to good old straight talking and modern technology.

Why not on your last day just point your manager to the following website - says it all really and worthwhile to other frequent readers and posters although maybe lost on older community but even BEP will appreciate

Good luck on new role



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#9 RE: Challenging feedback
29/06/2015 13:35

Asterion to detoilet Consultant (#8)

My steps would be

1 - Collect the ACTUAL, indisputable evidence of his insanity

2 - With discretion, try to find out whether such psychotic behaviour is a habit of this director or if you were just one unlucky victim of an otherwise professional guy

3 - with #1 and #2 at hand, try and discuss the matter with your development manager and take it from there

Ideally you'd like to leave your current place with a good reputation. Assuming yours is actually damaged at the moment (i.e. it's not just an issue that only you and him know of), try and restore without damaging his.

If this were to be a zero sum game, think about it carefully, again discuss it with your development manager who, supposedly, you should know you can trust.

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