Opening your email inbox to find a message criticizing your work is bad enough. But it’s even worse when you notice that your boss was cc’d on the message.
An administrative professional recently encountered this situation and wrote about it on our online forum. The criticizing manager had reprimanded her for doing something that wasn’t a good use of her time.
“What happened to approaching someone directly with criticism? Now I don’t trust this manager,” she says.
Other admins weighed in.
√ At least the manager didn’t “bcc” your boss, points out admin pro Joyce. “Use the opportunity to grow your relationship with your supervisor,” she says. Clarify, ask for advice, and give your boss the opportunity to know what you do.
√ Take a deep breath before you type anything. “It is of the utmost importance that anytime you communicate with colleagues, you make sure you phrase your communication clearly,” says admin pro Megan.
√ Begin by thanking the manager who sent constructive criticism, suggests admin JoAnn. “Reply to all, and ask your direct supervisor for a meeting to discuss workload priorities to avoid any confusion in the future.”
That lets everyone know you heard the complaint and puts you on a positive path.
It also “takes the wind out of the complaining manager’s sails and will defuse any discussion of your unwillingness to improve,” she says. The ball is now in your manager’s court.