I have been focusing over the last month on developing a series of articles around giving and receiving feedback. As I was developing these I was reflecting on all the excuses I heard heard from leaders around the world over the last twenty years about why they did not give feedback or it did not have a high priority on their agenda. Here are the top ones I have heard again and again and some ideas on how to ensure you do not have the same feedback giving blockages!
Top 5 feedback excuses
1) I don’t have the time!
Managers and leaders are paid to perform and to deliver performance through their teams. The team members can only perform at their best if they know how they are doing and how they could improve.
Recommendation: look to spend AT LEAST one hour a week in one to ones with team members. Part of this time will be catch up and a significant portion should be feedback and coaching. These do not have to be face to face,
2) I don’t know where to start!
I find many managers are simply too busy being busy and so do not know when and how to start giving feedback. A good leader should be looking for opportunities on an ongoing basis to provide praise and performance improvement feedback.
Recommendation: Make a feedback diary – write down in a notebook, PC or tablet the things that you see your team members so well and not so well for a couple of weeks. Then take some in your one on ones to share your ideas.
3) I do not know how to structure the feedback!
Most managers and leaders lack formal training on leading teams. Any good basic management or leadership skills course should provide a framework for delivering and practising giving framework.
4) I am unsure how they will take it!
Unless the feedback is really, really bad and the style it is provided in is really, really poor most people will take both praise and performance improving feedback positively.
Recommendations: 1) Spend time thinking through and preparing what you will say AND when in the conversation create a positive tone. 2) Create a two way conversation, where you help the person truly understand the feedback and in the case of performance enhancing feedback, how they can improve the way they do things.
5} It is not clear to me when is the best time to give feedback!
Managers and leaders find themselves rather busy and see their team members in the same situation. Providing feedback does not have to take long, perhaps a few minutes can do the trick sometimes.
Recommendations: 1) Look to give the feedback as soon as possible after the action, task or activity took place. 2) Ensure you have sufficient privacy to provide the feedback and discuss next steps.
Feedback excuses – Leadership reflections
What excuses do you use not to give any or so much feedback?
What do you need to do to get past this?
How can you create a culture of feedback
Thanks once again for reading!
I am really keen to know if this helped and what excuses you have heard in the past?
[Image Credit- SXC.hu User: Michael & Christa Richert}