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Work/Life Balance Feedback

Last week my manager told me that I am too focused on family matters and I need to pay more attention to work. I have no idea where this comment came from. I asked for some examples, but he couldn't think of any specifics. That's how the discussion ended, but I'm concerned about what's happening. Should I do anything else?

A. Whether dealing with employees, children, or pets, most people know that the time to provide feedback is as close to the behavior in question as possible. If your family dog has chewed up a family heirloom, it's not going to do much good to confront Fido three weeks later.

When managers stockpile their concerns about an employee and then unload at a later date, the employee's reaction is a combination of defensiveness, denial, and distress. If an employee is engaging in a behavior that is not appropriate for the job, the manager should discuss the situation with him or her at that time. That's the best way to have any kind of acceptance, credibility, and impact.

You should revisit this situation with your manager. Tell him that you have thought very carefully about it, and you still do not see any family interference in your work. In addition, suggest that if he ever sees such interference, you would like to discuss it with him at that time. Hopefully he will not need any more feedback about his feedback.

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