Conducting Performance Feedback
Three tips on how to break the ice gently.March 3, 2011
by Jennifer Wilson
There is simply no greater gift you can give than to provide someone constructive performance feedback that comes from a genuine care and concern for their well-being and success. Telling someone what they are doing well, what they need to improve, what they should stop doing or what they should start doing allows them to course correct and get better. Not telling them, to quote my partner, Tamera Loerzel, is "like allowing someone to go through a whole meal with a piece of spinach in their teeth and not realize it until later."
In other words, not providing performance feedback is un-cool. So, why do we allow people in our lives — family, friends, colleagues, peers, subordinates, clients and others — to show up with spinach in their teeth (metaphorically)? What are we afraid of? I believe that we put off providing feedback because we're afraid of:
Benefits of Delivering Performance Feedback
First and foremost, doing so enables us to open up honest communication with the other person and frees us up to have a straight-talking relationship based on clear expectations. Doing so also enables us to:
Approaching a Performance Feedback Discussion
If you aren't sure how to approach a performance feedback discussion, consider a few possible approaches:
As a last thought on this subject, it is always easier to take feedback from someone who is open to receiving it, so look in the mirror. Are you open and inviting others in your life to provide you feedback and help you identify your figurative spinach issues? If not, that's probably the place to start!
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Jennifer Wilson is a partner and co-founder of ConvergenceCoaching, LLC, a leadership and marketing consulting and coaching firm that specializes in helping leaders achieve success. Learn more about the company and its services at www.convergencecoaching.com.