One of the services we provide clients is a coach the coach service. We ask managers to tell us what they're doing in regards to coaching and developing their talent and we provide one to one personalized feedback. One of the most common things we hear when we provide the service is the perspectives from both ends as it relates to this thing called feedback. This involves providing as well as an employee's ability to receive feedback.
Feedback is a really loaded gun. I often ask parents whose kids I coaching in volleyball do you want me to be honest about your kids ability? They all answere yes when in fact most are extremely uncomfortable with such honesty. Why?Because nobody's been trained or well conditioned to receive constructive news or insight about their child as it is emotionally very tough. This is the very reason when we become adults feedback becomes more and more difficult not only to receive it, but to provide in a valuable and worthwhile manner.
Feedback is such a valuable tool if it's provided properly along with received properly, but how can both of these occur? First, a manager must be willing to provide both positive as well as constructive feedback with the sole objective of helping the employee better him or herself. The intention of feedback for the most part has to be provided within the framework of bettering the employee and their talent. The employee must seek and welcome feedback both positively as well as constructively for the objective of bettering themself. This is easier said than done so here are some rules I would encourage everyone to follow:
Suggested Manager Rules:
- Invest 70% of your time when giving feedback in the positive things as most managers and employees are used to only hearing mostly constructive feedback. This builds goodwill and trust.
- Provide feedback nonverbally such as an email or handwritten note especially when providing positive feedback. The power of the written word can last sometimes longer than the verbal word.
- Managers should become skilled and well practiced in providing constructive feedback where tough issues need to be addressed. All too often managers will shy away from areas of conflict only to have the issues become bigger and bigger and ultimately misunderstood.
Suggested Employee Rules
- One of the healthiest activities and employee can embark upon is receiving feedback with the rule of engagement where they can not respond. This disables the dreaded "yeah but" syndrome which relegates most people from having the ability to truly listen to feedback that could ultimately be valuable.
- Seek feedback on an ongoing basis with no preconditioned responses in terms of countering the feedback or arguing, rather simply absorbing the feedback sought.
- Train employees on the reception of feedback. I literally mean have a workshop or session that actually practices the seeking and the reception of both constructive and positive feedback. Facilitate open discussions about how to receive such feedback and react professionally within the guidelines of the organization.
If both management and employees were well trained and practiced in the art of giving and receiving feedback wouldn't we all have better workplaces? What are your thoughts?
Would you like to know your employees ability to receive feedback?: Check out our new coaching assessment system: click here - We'd Be happy to run some free assessments and feedback for you!