The Leadership Caffeine series is over 200 installments strong and is dedicated to every aspiring or experienced leader and manager seeking ideas, insights or just a jolt of energy to keep pushing forward. Thanks for being along for the journey!
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “I never heard that before,” or, its slightly more grammar challenged equivalent, “No one ever told me that before,” in response to performance feedback.
It’s sad and annoying all at the same time to hear those words. It’s annoying because it tells me that the managers charged with supporting, guiding and developing these valued individuals have shirked their responsibilities. It’s doubly annoying because the effort to deliver constructive feedback is minimal, the techniques to do so effectively fairly easy to learn and the results when done properly, priceless.
It’s sad, because the real victims are the individuals not receiving the feedback they need to grow and improve, and the firms and teams they work for and with who are indirectly penalized with suboptimal performance.
If you’re one of those managers who can stand to improve your frequency and comfort for delivering constructive (and positive) feedback, take the time to get some help. You’ll benefit and your team members will thank you.
The Crucial Conversations, Crucial Confrontations books are excellent. Scan my feedback category, or check out the six part series which starts appropriately with:“Moving Beyond Fear and Anxiety.” And most of all, start observing and talking with your team members about the visible, business-related opportunities to improve or to do more of what’s working.
By the way, I’ve never met a high performance professional who didn’t want to receive feedback on his/her performance. A lot of feedback. Good professionals are always hungry to improve. If you run into someone who objects to it, either your approach is off or, they’re not the high quality professional you thought they were.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
Paying attention to your team members is a high form of showing respect. Supporting their professional development through a variety of means, including but not limited to timely, high quality feedback, is the best way I know as a manager to show that I truly care. Take the time to master the tools and start supporting growth for your team members. You’ll grow a good deal as a leader along the way yourself.
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An ideal book for anyone starting out in leadership: Practical Lessons in Leadership by Art Petty and Rich Petro.