There are many varieties of bosses — from the oh-so-nice ones to those who are more similar to tyrannical overlords. But what if your boss is the silent kind who doesn’t give you any feedback at all? How do you know how good (or bad) you’re doing?

“It’s not easy to give people feedback,” says Kathi Elster, co-author of “Working for You Isn’t Working for Me: The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Boss.” “Many bosses are driven to offer feedback when they are just pissed off; giving other kinds of feedback is time consuming. I have so many bosses tell me, ‘I don’t have time for that.’ Or, ‘Their paycheck is their thank you.’”

If you have to deal with this kind of boss, Elster doesn’t have to tell you how frustrating it is.


“Ninety-nine percent of the population wants to grow; we want to know where we stand with the boss. The good, the bad and the ugly.”

Here are her tips to get them talking:

Ask questions
“Set up a meeting and tell your boss, ‘These are the goals I’m working on. Is this the direction you want me to go in?’ Say, ‘How do you think I’m doing?’”

Find another mentor
“Hopefully you can find someone lateral to your boss or even above them to help give you advice on your work,” she says. “See if there is someone who is happy to be a mentor.” If all else fails, Elster says to hire a career coach to talk with and to give you feedback.

Listen around you
“Are you sure you aren’t overanalyzing the situation?” cautions Elster. “You have to listen if anyone else is hearing feedback or if you’re the only one being snubbed.”

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