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Feedback Criticism Insults Condescending Treatment

We were having a staff meeting and I asked a basic question. After the meeting, my manager told me that he didn't want to embarrass me in front of the others, but my question was stupid. He feels he's a hero because he reprimanded me in private, but I'm annoyed over the criticism itself. What do you think?

In Management 101, your manager gets half credit. He gets an "A" for providing negative feedback in private, and an "F" for the feedback itself.

The best managers today adhere to the adage that there is no such thing as a stupid question. It is not as if managers should be seeking so-called stupid questions, but it is through the opportunity to ask any question that innovation and creativity are fostered.

Your manager's actions can totally extinguish the employees' desire to think, take some mental risks, and approach problems in new and different ways. Even if you ask the most ridiculous question in the world, it is entirely possible that your question will generate some related ideas that can truly lead to more effective problem-solving. After all, some of the greatest ideas, concepts, and inventions started as arguably stupid questions.

In addition, even if your question made absolutely no sense, the way that you were treated is ultimately going to prevent your associates from asking their own risky questions, and who is to say what creative ideas may be lost forever as a result? It's time for your manager to go back to Management 101.

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