Question: “Our appraisal system requires supervisors to schedule quarterly conferences with their employees, but my boss never does. On my annual
Marie’s Answer: Any supervisor who asks an employee to lie should be horsewhipped. But since ratting out your boss could backfire and damage your own career, here are some alternative ideas:
• The choice of lying or refusing puts you between the proverbial rock and hard place. However, a third option is to schedule the quarterly conferences yourself. Put the dates on your supervisor’s calendar, then send him a reminder shortly before each meeting.
• Since your boss is unlikely to prepare for these discussions, create your own agenda. Review accomplishments and challenges for the quarter, and then ask for his reaction. You can also discuss other current issues.
• When the supervisor is a manager, employees often have to work hard to get feedback. But the effort is usually worth it, because otherwise there may be unpleasant surprises at review time.
At best, the conferences that you initiate might actually turn into productive meetings. But if not, at least you no longer will be certifying false information.
For more Office Coach suggestions on getting feedback from your boss, see How (and why) to Ask for Criticism.
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