Today I am going to talk about feedback.
There are two kinds, Positive and Negative.
It seems to be increasingly fashionable these days to never refer to Negative Feedback. You hear terms like “Constructive Criticism” or “Sandwich feedback”.
Personally, I believe these are either attempts at marketing the same old thing and making it appear different by giving it a different name, or pandering to people’s fear of actually telling someone there is a performance improvement required.
The worst offence is the old fashioned management training that espoused “sandwiching”, wrapping up some negative feedback inside slices of praise.
The danger here is that you train people that when you walk in and say something nice, their brains go “Oh no, he’s about to stick the knife in, what have I done wrong!”
You will never be able to give praise again. They just won’t be listening. They will be waiting to hear the nasty stuff that comes next.
When you behave as a Leader, intent on developing your people to unleash their full potential, you will be coming from a very supportive position. They will know that and appreciate it. You will not be looking to apportion blame, just to help them identify the interference and remove it.
The reason Executive Coaching is so powerful and produces results is because we give direct feedback in a supportive manner. You serve no one by not telling them the truth and reflecting back to them what is truly going on.
So separate the two kinds of feedback.
Give positive feedback on its own when it is deserved.
And have a separate conversation when something needs correcting. It is feedback on a negative point. Don’t be afraid to call it that.
And remember you don’t have to say “I want to give you some negative feedback” Just say “Today I’d like to look at how you can improve your performance on . . “
Whatever the subject is.
Next time we will look at the way to have the feedback conversation.
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