Almost every leader I speak to cringes when I mention the word “feedback”. They’ve sat through endless training courses about it and don’t want to hear any more.
So why is it that so many people I’ve worked with over the years have a problem with giving and receiving feedback?
It all comes down to our own personal experiences with feedback in the past.
And more often than not, that experience has been negative.
- Feedback only ever happened formally, at a performance review.
- Feedback was an excuse to criticise performance.
- Feedback was negative and demoralising.
- Feedback followed a sandwich formula – good, bad, good – so the positive comments were lost while waiting for the negative.
You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
The trouble is, no one improves their level of performance without feedback. As a leader, it’s something you’ve got to do.
So, let’s get it right.
No, don’t worry. I’m not going to talk about yet another model of feedback!
Feedback is communication
It’s as simple as that.
In listening to my clients, the biggest issue affecting their ability to give feedback to people is time. They are busy trying to meet deadlines or juggling lots of tasks.
It’s not that they’re unable or unwilling to give feedback. It’s just that they don’t think of it until later and sometimes it’s too late.
Giving feedback means talking with people about the way they’re working at the time they are working.
“Thanks for that suggestion. It saved us heaps of time.”
“Maybe next time, try it this way.”
By giving feedback during the event, it’s easier for you both to be clear about the feedback and in most cases, it takes away the emotion if you have to offer constructive feedback. It also helps stop people embedding bad techniques that become hard to change. Fix the technique early before it becomes a problem for you all.
Take away the formality from your feedback. Give it when it’s due.
That’s where I want to leave it, today.
Not a feedback model in sight!
I’d love to hear about your experiences giving and receiving feedback. Let’s start a conversation below and share our ideas.
Before I go, I want you to know that if you’re struggling to offer feedback to your team, I can help you. It’s one of the things we can talk about during an executive coaching session. Give me a call on 0405 322 005 if you think I can help.
Alternatively, take a look at my latest download on Courageous Conversations. With these tips you’ll have the courage to clearly communicate feedback in no time.