Rendering Me Speechless

During the past two years, I have worked for a manager who has driving me crazy at times.  When they reorg’d IT, I ended up working for this man sort of unexpectedly. There was a pretty big push to give me the management role over this team – but, at the last minute, someone saved this manager-without-a-home and gave him the team ….and me.

And he and I spent months butting heads over everything until he finally just let me handle shit.  There was no reason for him to get involved until I needed him involved, so he just let me run it since that was my role.

Periodically, he would get a desire to get involved – I had to learn to just sit back and let him get it out of his system – then he would back off again.

I have never received feedback on my job from this guy.  He has done my reviews but I have never seen them.  I got a raised once – I think – but I don’t recall for sure.  I was just happy when he let me do my thing – so that didn’t make a difference to me.

Yesterday, two things happened that left my jaw on the ground.  The first was I got back my mid-year review with his feedback.  I was blown the fuck away by what he said.  All extremely positive – extremely complimentary.  I was almost in shock because I had no idea he thought of me in such high regard.

A junior guy on my project team has several teams vying for him right now – so he asked my opinion of which choice made sense. I gave it – and he commented he was going to talk to our boss about it during his 1×1 meeting with him.  After that meeting, I asked what he got in the way of advice.  Jaw dropping moment #2: “He said I should look at you in terms of someone who has the knowledge and experience to back up what she does – can call bullshit on technical things – and has substance behind it all. He said you are respected and effective because you have experience in technical things – so encouraged me to do whatever I could to be like you.”

HUH!?!?!?!

I almost fell over.

Today, I spoke to my manager about the opportunities before me – I wanted to let him know what was going on as I suspect today there may be some more open dialog about it – and I didn’t want it to surprise him.  Once I told him about the opportunity I was exploring, he was like “well, you really should have that guy’s job as director of that group – but I think you are what will change things for the positive.  I am happy you are going for it – and support you 100%!”

He thinks I’m really a director in skillset?

I was truly speechless, and thankfully did not have to cover it because he was ranting on why he was happy to hear this development and why I would go crazy with the other choices that had been offered.

When I told him there was some question as to if I would be given away by IT now that the org changes have been made with the team I’d be going to, he was like “fuck – no one can stop you if you just applied for the job – and they would be fucking idiots if they did because it’s the best for the company to have you in that role.”

It’s funny because I had been eager to get the fuck out of this place.  I didn’t feel appreciated – I felt there was no growth for me – and I was sick of being seen as “just a project manager” when I have more to offer.

And in 24hrs, I get more positive feedback and support from my own manager than I have gotten in the past 2.5 years from him or any other manager.

“People need to start listening to what you say because you know what needs to be fixed – you in that new role will have that – and I support you getting it.”

Yeah, I’m still trying to get my mind wrapped around this positive interaction. I’m blown away – and happy.  But blown away.

Guess the morale of the story for managers: Give this kind of feedback often if that’s how you feel.  It does a lot for those working for you.

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