Koan #6: Feedback To Manager

We usually send the situation in one newsletter and results in a following newsletter. Here the situations and results are copied verbatim into one post. Hence, when it says 'you' - it means the subscribers who voted in newsletter, not readers of this archive.
This situation was published in the 08 Mar 2021 newsletter.


You are in a meeting with your team and someone suggests a new idea. Your manager dismisses the idea and moves onto the next item on the agenda. This is the third time that this has happened recently and you feel this is disempowering you and the team. Your next 1:1 with him is scheduled to be in two weeks time. What do you do?

Option A - Note all three incidents down, and raise them during your 1:1 in two weeks so you can feed back on the full picture from your view

Option B - Email or call your boss and ask for a time to meet within the next few days as you’d like to give them some feedback from the meeting. You do not tell them the specifics and intend to discuss all three incidents when you meet

Option C - Ask the person whose idea was dismissed how they feel. Then decide if you should raise it in the 1:1 in two weeks

Option D - At the end of the meeting ask if you can stay on the call/in the room and talk to your boss about them dismissing the idea. You decide not to raise the other two incidents at this point


We found the relatively even split this week very interesting. The first step is to address this as soon as possible, as in Option D, at the end of the meeting. Doing this while the situation is fresh in your mind means that you are more likely to recall the events verbatim or without time to allow the situation to escalate or be misremembered. You must also consider that your manager in this case has not asked for the feedback, and so raising it in front of the team could put them in a difficult position and they are more likely to respond instinctively or defensively than if it is just you and them. This is likely to be an uncomfortable situation, unless you already have a relationship where you often offer feedback to your manager. This discomfort is something we must all learn to accept as it is one of the ways we grow as leaders. A great suggestion was that you may also want to raise that if they had explained their reasoning when they dismissed the idea it would have come across better to the team. We also think, and as was commented by a few others in their response, that this would be a good talking point for your 1:1 in two weeks, as in Option A. However, first raising it in two weeks could make it seem like a bigger issue than it may be. We understand that some people may not have the confidence to raise the situation at the end of the meeting, and if this is the case it would be useful to discuss in your 1:1 with your manager that you want to build a relationship where this is possible. We noticed that almost everyone who chose Option D was also someone who said they had already applied some information from LK in their practice so perhaps they are already in a leadership position. This may also just be our interpretation!

The second thing to consider this week was the fact that this is the third time this has happened recently. As put by a member of the community, ‘I think that immediately going in with all 3 incidents could come across as accusatory so I’d say to stick to the one in that meeting and just find out why - it could be that from the feedback, you understand why the other incidents were as they were or you could always ask about them as well if it feels right to do so.’ Another point raised was that it may be that the points are always targeting a certain team member, or multiple people, in which case there may be something going on that you do not know about.

In short, the sooner the better, and if you are not comfortable with this, work towards feeling more confident to raise concerns in collaboration with your manager.