Monday 17 May 2010

Remove the Nightmare from Giving Feedback!!

Giving feedback need not be a nightmare for you or the person receiving it!!

Much of the work I do as a Coach involves giving and receiving feedback. Sometimes what we have to feedback is positive and this is a pretty pleasant task. Less so when the feedback is a development area or a blind spot for someone. The responsibility of doing this is an essential part of being a Leader or Manager. There are many models and thought leaders in this field. Personally I rate and like Marshall Goldsmith. Here's a link to his site, so check it out for yourself;

Here are a few tips and pointers when you need to give feedback and an easy to use model.

When giving feedback to someone, the important thing to remember is to focus on the ISSUE in question and not the PERSON. This removes unnecessary EMOTION from the conversation and focuses on the BEHAVIOUR and not the PERSONALITY.

3 Rules (A.I.D.- An acronym)

1. Actions- (What the person did- both +/-) Use language like 'I noticed you doing........a,b,c' 'What I liked about x was when you took the initiative and did y.' If the feedback is not positive, focus on the facts. "We agreed the report would be on my desk by 9am, it was late. We discussed this several times, do you recall that...?" This clarifies the situation and is in no way personal. (This is the current status, what you're GETTING)

2. Impact- (The effect of the behaviour in question) 'The upshot of that was it slowed down everyone and everything while we waited for this report' (This builds the CASE for CHANGE. Often times people don't think through the impact of their actions (or inaction!) This is where people have an 'Aha' moment and realise this behaviour needs to change. (This is feedback-it relates to the past)

3. Desired Outcomes- (Ways in which the Coachee could do things differently)Let's explore together options that address these points' This is also where as a Leader or Manager you get to have a say in the behaviour you want. Many times I find people forget they are in charge and it's part of those responsibilities to clearly state to people what you want. If need be, outline to them what good quality work looks like. You also have to become comfortable in helping people work in the way YOU want them to (this is not the same as bossing people around or being a tyrant by the way!). If people were doing what you asked them to do in the way it needed be done you would not waste either parties time. (This is also referred to feeding forward-It focuses on the future)

This is all part of 'on the job Coaching'. The best Leaders I've come across are really skilled in HOW to do this. I suggest you take the time to learn how to do this well.

When you think about it, it's not possible to manage performance or develop people if you can't comment accurately and effectively on how people are doing....Give this a try and see how you get on. If you decide to work with a Coach, they will help you develop the skills and belief to do this really well. It's central to my work and will make you stand out as a Leader. That's also why smart people have a 'Coaching Relationship' and not go looking for a Coach when they need one. This is a little like having great need them before you need them!

Why give this attention...? Because it's known as 'instant payoff' Coaching, you can change behaviour quickly or recognise great work in a way that generates loyalty. That's just smart thinking.

Let me know how you get on with this.........

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