Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Saturday, 6 August 2011

" I want to give you some feedback "

Why is feedback done so badly in organisational life - we've all be on the Feedback 101 course but yet it still seems to an area that many of us struggle with. It seems to me that all too often feedback is confused with 'telling off'  instead of what it is -- data to help someone improve their performance. Subtly different.

When coaching managers I ask three questions to check the quality of their feedback delivery:

1. Has it landed? Has the recipient heard and accepted the message. Managers all too often seem to think that delivering the message is good enough, however often all they have done is provoked resistance or worse still an argument

2. Will it lead to action/ change? Feedback is often confused with some sort of evaluation - "that was great" may a lovely thing to hear but actually it doesn't help the recipient understand what they have do do differently or more of or how do it. Brilliant feedback is always followed up with coaching on the way forward.

3. Has the relationship been maintained? Managers seem to fall into two broad camps (ok its a sweeping generalisation) - those that avoid or fluff feedback for fear of damaging the relationship or those that wade in with their size 10's leaving a trail of destruction behind them. Well I'm afraid neither will do.. brilliant feedback delivered well builds the relationship between manager and subordinate .. not the opposite.

So think about the last piece of feedback you gave .. would it pass the acid test?

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