Do you see Feedback as a Gift?
If your company follows a traditional calendar then you and your team are probably preparing for performance review time. For those maybe not familiar with that term, it is the time of year where management will give a formal review of their employee’s performance. Theoretically, if the leader is giving feedback throughout the year, then this should not come as a surprise to the person receiving the review.
Unfortunately, many leaders are not doing this on a consistent basis. There are multiple reasons why the leader doesn’t deliver feedback Some leaders avoid conflict, hope that the performance will improve on its own, aren’t good at doing it, don’t make it a priority or they had a bad experience themselves. It is just as challenging for the receiver of the feedback. The receiver may become emotional, angry, defensive, become demotivated, or they aren’t willing to hear it and change their behavior.
When you look at all of those reasons, you can see why there could be challenges for both parties concerning feedback. I am a big fan of the SBI model to deliver feedback. It is a very simple approach for a leader to have the conversation in such a way as to not make the person receiving it feel defensive. SBI stands for Situation, Behavior, and Impact. First, you describe the situation where the performance occurred, then the behavior that you observed and finally the impact of that behavior. This model can be used for both positive and constructive feedback. There are many resources, videos, etc on the SBI model if you want to learn more information about it. (you can also use it on your children or family members to practice!)
Planning this type of conversation is key to ensuring that it goes well. You may have heard the term that feedback is a “gift.” As the recipient, you can choose to hear what the person has to say or you can ignore it. The best thing to do when you get the feedback is to simply say “Thank You” and then think it over. Be sure and ask for concrete examples where the behavior is occurring so you can see what they are talking about. It may be a blind spot that you had or simply a perception that someone has of you. Whether it is true or not, it is better to know how you are perceived and have an awareness of that going forward. You can decide what actions to take to correct it then.
I have been the giver and the receiver of tough feedback. I hired my own coach to help me figure out the best approach after I received some difficult feedback. It is better to figure out how to move forward and deal with it in an action oriented way. Remember you get to decide what to do with the “gift” of feedback that you received.
I have worked with many of my clients to help them prepare for these types of tough conversations. Some of my other clients have been the recipients of the feedback and need to work through how to address it. If you would like to set up a time to discuss feedback with me, please feel free to set up time for a complimentary session.