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Dear Friends,
I am in a difficult situation these days. My boss is highly critical about me and my performance. I try my best to adopt to his ways of working and try to abide by what he says, but i feel i am not able to satisfy him.
As per him, my performance is below average. It is sometimes difficult to take such criticism.
He tries to be critical in front of fellow employees, which demotivates me even further. What do i do?
I am in a HR Generalist kind of role. I have to take care of all HR activities, and admin activities as well, which include travel, visas, transportation, leave records, database management etc.
Please provide me with a solution.
From India, Gurgaon

Hi Sarika,
I understand your situation and I know how it feels when one goes thru this.But why dont you find out what is the real reason behind all this?
First of all dont get de-motivated(I know its easy to say this) because self motivation is the best.Secondly try to find out why he is underrating your performance.If possible confront him and ask him where have i gone wrong?

Sarika, impressing your boss does not mean you should blindly follow his orders and stick only to his ways of doing things. If you find a better way discuss that with him.
Speak to your boss about what he thinks is lacking in your performance and what should you do to improve your performance.
Also, request him not to criticize you infront of a 3rd person as it is highly demotivating. Tell him that you are still in a learning stage and would be happy if he can guide you instead.
But dont get demotivated. Few bosses dont give their appreciation easily. May be they feel criticism helps the employee to improve even more. They fail to realize that it might hamper the growth too.
All the best!!!!
From India, Hyderabad
Hi Deepthi and Rajni,
Thanks for the comfort you have provided.
I feel may be he has in his mind that the profile i have is not much of importance. I mean he doesnt give much weightage to my functions, and what i do to achieve my objectives.
For him it the sales and the supporting functions of sales are more important, which i feel is the basic reason for his being critical for me and my role.
I dont know how to tackle that. He is a terror sometimes.
I try to be paitent in front of him and try and ignore his surcastic comments. But i think this gives him more flexibilility to say anything to me.
Please advise. It is becoming difficult to handle.
From India, Gurgaon
Hi Sarika,
Sometimes people fail to realise the importance of others functional roles.You take care of HR general functions like Transportation, Visa etc etc.Lets assume if you do not arrange for visas on time for the sales team who need to go onsite(abroad),the company loses business.This is the point you need to talk it out with him.Reason why your role is important as his...
Make him realise how important your role is and why do you think you deserve appreciation for the same.

Hi Sarika,
I agree with deepthi's advice to you. If your boss doesn't realise your worth, its high time you show him exactly that. Just try and make a list of all tasks done by you on a regular basis n then discuss the same with him. Just dont feel miserable yourself, make him think frm your point of view. If u feel overburdened, let him know that. The need is mutual for you as well as your organisation. There is always a dearth of good people for the jobs.
From India, Bangalore
Dear Sarika,

I go with Ranjit's suggestion to list down the activities done by you on daily basis that would certainly help you to make him understand your hard work for the company and also will make you feel confident when you have appraisals or performance reviews with him.

It doesnt mean that employee could be ill treated if he is not performing well. So please ensure that he doesnt react harsh and rude to you in front of others; either talk to him and make him understand your situation or try to escalate if he continues doing it. Even if an employee's performance is not upto the standard it is the responsibity of manager to train him and make him perform better

Secondly, any employee should be given the due respect but not based on the function he is into or any other factors.

It is also understood if he has an attitude issues where one fail to apperiate others, pessimist or he might be ventilating his job pressure to you.

Please try to understand the rootcause of it and take appropraite actions on time.

From India, Madras
Sometimes , performance also does not count. Pls check what pblm he really he has. These are some of the tactics adopted by seniors to break the confidence of the employee. Either he wants something different from you or he wants you to quit. so evaluate this first. The reason behind my saying is such type of scenario has been witnessed by me closely.
From India, Pune
hi dear,
i really amazed to see you that you have shared your emotion with your friends. it is better way to share our joy and our sadness. you specially share your demerits or which makes you to feel hurt because it wil give you relife and comfort as part of the body and mind.
Regarding you boss what i say is take in apositive way where you can learn something or it may teaching you lesson to cope with the situation in the future. If you feel that you lost speak with your boss than let it solved or if it doesnot end than end your job. but keep i mind where ever you go problems are common. some time more or less. So think again about your career and future. If you hope that you will be better honered in some other place than get out of it. Beacuse peace and life is more important than money, position.
Prashanth Joseph
From India, Bangalore
Why is there a need to teach people things like not to tick off or sarcastic in front of a third person, or belittle someone.
May be the boss has not learnt his lessons well.
Grooming is sacred duty of every senior, unless one is not confident oneself or feeling insecure of the juniors and thier capabilities.
k srinivas
From India, Mumbai
Dear Sarika,
set mile stone for next quarter & put in front of your boss. try to achieve the milestone on time. send the monthly leave report to all line mangers abt their team member if the firm is small. start sending mails on b'days of employees. monthly, talk to the employees one by one to know their problems or concerns. make list of problems which you feel need to be sorted out immediately & discuss them with the boss.
if ur boss is not able to see ur work so u have to show him ur work.
j"o dikhta hai ,wahi bikta hai"
so u have to show ur work or work in such a way that result can not be ignored by any one in the co.
start getting suitable candidate to co. at the time of recruitment.
so many things are there to show ur self most dedicated & busy employee.
From India, Delhi
Hi Sarika,
I know u r bn thugh a hard time,but demotivating ur self is not a solution of problem of yours. Try to find out the reason of your Boss's behaviour. If you r unable to find out the reason then talk to him over the problem and try to find some solution.
From India, Ludhiana
Dear Sarika,
Please stop feeling bad, first analyse whether your boss is doing it with the intention of changing your profile and posting you in some other better position or is he doing it to belittle you. I had a boss who used to yell at me but promote me and speak high about my performance with management. It is better you list down your task and also make a presentation to him over a cup of tea as how you go about in your work. Hope things will turn good. Don't think of changing job b'coz this world is full of such bosses.
From India, Indore
Dear Sarika ,

The problem lies with your reporting manager's management style. He might believe that he can able to drive things from you through criticizing your performance. So that you will stretch more to prove yourself.

He could have adopted this management style from his superior, who might have been successful at some part of time.

But no longer, this management style will work.

I would suggest,pl don't drain energy much into this issue, concentrate on your work ,otherwise this itself will lead you to poor performance/less concentration on the given activity. Because your boss might move out at any point of time, but you should not get any visible bad remarks in terms of your performance in the company/with your head of department.

Professionally have a dialogue with him after successfully completing some important task & be clear what is the role and his expectation as a job holder from you. So that you can be more focused on deliverable and results. after some time he will realise your potential and recognize you.

Pl remember,if he is criticising based on your performance,take it positvely and improve yourself.

if he is criticising based on his perception about you,Pl never mind,concentrate on your work.
From India, Madras
Hi Sarika,
With age & experience, few bosses tend to get egoistic. And when they feel their juniors have better calibre, chances are aplenty to cause a feeling of insecurity in them... something that the poor juniors wont ever realize and are unnecesarily strained mentally.
There could be reasons other than performance for a boss to criticize, BUT performance is the safest way to criticize!
A face to face discussion is the need of the hour... Cheer up & talk things straight :)
From India, Hyderabad
Dear Sarika
It takes a lot of maturity and understanding on our part to take criticism. Please do not take it as any personal remark on you.
If I would be in such a predicament , I would do the following:
1.Introspect, without feeling victimized, the entire scenario. Will recollect if I ever had offended him in any way. Or if any action of mine / mannerism is not liked by him.
2. Did I take his feedback , including performance feedback, seriously/ constructively and improved ?
3.Will take appointment with him and talk to him in a matter of fact manner the reason of his being so crossed with me. Put my thoughts on the issue in most objective way.
4. Analyse his feedback in most neutral manner and will try to improve in areas wherein the feedback is found to be valid.
5. Will leave the boss if come to conclusion that his crticism is not valid or ego/ personality based.
Best of Luck
From India
Sarika, you need to understand the requirements of your position & as well as of your boss. Such things do happen in many organistions
Go to your boss & find out the his / her requirements
I am sure this will solve the problem
From Switzerland, Langenthal
Hi Sarika,

First thing first, You have to shoe maturity in your approach.
Daily list out your assignment for tommrrow what you are going to do.
Next day morning meet your boss and report him your this agenda of the day
Generally, reports starts with first priority to list priority,may be following kind:

Statutory Compliances-PF,ESIC,Factory Act Compliance etc
Legal Matters- Pending Court Cases and follow-up with lawyers
Meetings with Government Authorities
Other meetings
Training Schedule-
Recruitment process and Interview Schedule
Transfer cases
Full & Final Settlement cases
Performance Appraisal
Annual Increments
Any thing else which consume your time.

If you brief your boss daily he will come to know what exactly you are doing and your utility to the organization.
Because most of HR or P&A functions has very silent features it is not visible therefore we have to highlight to our boss. Simultaneously boss recognise your role is cushion to him and he need not to pay attention to critical issues of HR or P&A functions and you are capable of taking care independently you will earned recognition from him that you save his valuable time.


From Saudi Arabia

If your boss is indicating that you have a performance issue, make a commitment to sit with him and work out your performance objectives...something that you both can agree to and that you both agree is realistic, given that it is you alone.

Once the objectives have been agreed, work out the percentage of time that you need to devote to each objective so that you can deliver the outcome/s expect. Once you start working with the numbers you will know if you need help or not to deliver - 100% means you are within your comfortable zone with regard to your competence. I would suggest your stretch yourself to about 120% so that you remain challenged. Beyond that you will need assistance to deliver.

As for critiquing you in front f other people, there is certainly another issue sitting behind what is going on and your boss is using your performance to manifest his emotions.

Have a very open conversation and let him know how you feel (respectfully). Recognize that it may be a difficult conversation and say so (this usually helps in lowering the temperature of the atmosphere). But difficult as it may be, let him know that you have the best interests of the organization at heart and that you are willing to assist in resolving whatever issues are presenting. Ask him to be open and honest with you as well so that you both know where you stand.

Indicate that you are feeling some tension and you would like to know what the issue is so that you can both agree a workable solution to continue to deliver superior results to the organization.

Indicate your willingness to forge a professional relationship that can be a hallmark for the rest of the organization and your desire to protect the image and reputation of the organization..because at the end of the day the behaviour of persons within the organization define both its culture and reputation.

My own sense is that the tension may be stemming from the fact that you are doing very well and possibly with little guidance from him. And that's fine, because that is what you are supposed to be doing. I agree with other persons who have suggested you attempt to get to the root cause of the issue - no guarantee this is going to be easy or that he will accept that there is a root cause.

The bigger issue here, at least for me, is the male/female divide, which organizations and men, in particular, refuse to acknowledge as the fundamental source of a lot of the conflicts which present in organizations. This is especially so where women prove themselves to be competent enough to manage their business affairs with little support (we actually have to work twice as hard - unfortunately).

I say to speak your truth respectfully. Be consistent in delivering superior results. Keep all relevant documentation as evidence of your performance. Continue - as much as is comfortable for you - to engage him in conversations which bring both of you to the point of agreement on what is best for the organization.

Hope this helps.

From Trinidad and Tobago, Chaguanas
Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii cool.......cool
If ur boss not saying something .he don't boss.any boss do not like something mistake in anywork.frist time ur mistake ur boss not talking serious he knw u will be habbitutal as it work.so pl. do taking serious and alway be happy.
This is part of life so u should be never taking serious.without struggle no life .
he aspeaking for ur carrier.if u r going any other company thier have got every think . then u learned why had boss said.when will be make boss then u r try to understand.
what do boss?
From India, Delhi
Dear Friend , we all have gone through such experiences some time or other. I would like to share with you the strategies i have adopted.

* You need to analyse weather is there anything which probabaly is lacking in you, may be you are not able to complete the work within given time frame, may be you have not done the job in a propoer manner and there was scope to d it better. Once you realise that there are some areas where you need to do better concentrate on that and try to improve.

* During criticism it is better to avoaid prolong argument. some times if criticism is made in front of others need not to feel bad. cool yourself in your office, reason out, and than if required go back to your boss , when he is alone, to discuss out the difference in perception if any. Replying back to him or reasoning out with him in other presecnce will further deteriorate the environment.

* lastly if your good in job and you are enjoying your work. let me repeat- If you are enjoying your work these things will die down gradually when your boss shall realise your importance.

ultimate mantra is focus yourself on gains if any from crticism and leave the rest. tell me how many people would have remebered that once in your ocllege days so and so lecturer had criticised you. No one remebers. Life moves on do not keep things in your mind.
From India, Delhi
Hey Sarika, First let me tell you that you are not alone in this kind of experiences. Second, all the suggestions you got from your friends may not work as I can see that the door for you to "discuss" with him may not be open as he has a bias on you the moment you contact.
Third, let me tell you a practical way: For this to apply, you must know that you are very good at your, what ever - you know it. His talk will not change your better performance. Having known that be cool to ignore his criticism and prevent yourself with a determination from hurt. However, his criticism is very important if you take it in an objective way. Look at it in an objective way. Know the words and put them in your vocab and equip yourself with those words while you deal with him. Since you know he thinks you have made a mistake, there is no point is getting into an argument with that.

Just say "Oh my! I did it again! boss what do you think we can do now?" Keep the focus on this quaetion to extract a practical answer from him. If he points to many a general comment. Do not be pissed off. Insist on an answer from him on what can be done. This will open his mind to learn that you are genuinely concerned to improve, that the ball is in his court to tell you the right thing - makes him responsible for his words, puts him in a fix to provide solution so he has to be careful in criticising you easily next time.

Keep your facial expression dignified, not showing hurt, anger or disgust. Speak deliberately, slowly. Do not appear to be very keen to please him, even though you are. Keep your cool and God willing, you will WIN. Win him and his heart. Take care to stay confident come what may.

Let us see if it works. If it does, this is only the first step to command his respect which you can keep in your emotional bank account. CHEERS and Best wishes. Salah

Hello Sarika,
Here are a few tips to make your worries disappear:
1. Make an introspection - re you trying to do too much and please your superior?
2. Be yourself always - Learn to accept the ups and downs in performance
3. Do not confront or get confronted - act according to the situation
Zig Ziglar, an internationally known motivational speaker, has said "When we have positive input, we have positive output, and when we have negative input, we have negative output."
A positive mental attitude coupled with good analytical mental approach to workplace happenings would take you up in the organization.
P.S.: Develop a positive mental attitude to love what you do every day rather than looking for the things you love to possess!
Good luck to you,

From India, Madras
Dear Sarika,
I read your problem in depth. My analysis and method to deal... a problem or a comment of your boss... remember, you view as per your lens view which is formed by your past experiences of your life and the way your boss comments [reacts] is also based on his vision. Hence, I request you not to get disturbed and further add to it by yourself [compelling future]... instead... be authentic and take his time and discuss with him with eye to eye contact to clarify. Be bold for this action and also prepare yourself in all aspects to authenticate that you have contributed as per the requirements of your Role Occupancy - Tangible & Subjectively.
Please mail me [vbvelury@yahoo.com] after taking action as suggested above.
[Past experiences of your life affecting the present state of being - a) I know that I know b) I know that I don't Know and c) I don't know that I don't know]
Vijay Bhasker V.
From India, Bangalore
After getting your point of view, it appears that your Boss is prejudiced for you or he may be an irrational person. Best thing to do here is to find outwhat things he might have not liked about you in the past - 1 most important factor to consider is simple human psychology - being an excellent resource has sometimes a negative effect on your growth as well because it raises the Boss' expectations and secondly, there can be situations where you outshine your boss - be it demonstrated by your work or by feedback from others.

After you have rationallly evaluated the causes keeping the above in mind, try to justify the situation.

Nevertheless, an employee has a right to dignity at work irrespective of his/her performance (unless it is negative behaviour for the company) - and at the next instance of his public remarks, make sure you make him understand that this is not army but a corporate world where people are not bound to respect you by the cadre but by the respect you earn for yourself.

I would like to advise you to look for a new assignment. When your boss under which you are working does not understand the weightage of your work you should quit the job. As I feel the frustration level increases in such situations.
From India, New Delhi
Thank you all for your valuable comments. They will really help me.

I had a word with my boss, during my current performance appraisal, and he told me that he has nothing personal against me. He said that i am quite slow in my work, and need constant follow up to get a task completed.

He said though i am a good team member. He said that he loses temper because he himself doesnt have much time, and is pressed by his job demands and his targets that he needs to achieve.

He told that he needs people who can support him and can run faster than him in getting a task done.

He clearly told that he expects perfection, and is very particular about how and what is being done, it has to be smartness along with hardwork.

I agreed to what he said, but i also told that i get demotivated by the following things :

1) His being critical about me in front of others
2) I have to work for many people at one time - people try to be bossy
3) Not able to prioritise work, need to identify what is important
4) Can satisfy everbody
5) Not able to manage vendor management properly

My work includes :

1) Booking tickets
2) Visas
3) Leave Records
4) Employee File Database Management
5) Vendor Management - Purchases / Repair of Office Equipment
6) Maintain Fixed Assets Register
7) General Housekeeping
8) Stationery Management

Please advise, how do i manage the above mentioned functions in an effective way.


From India, Gurgaon
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