Posts Tagged ‘feedback’

Stop the Mind Reading—Give Candid Feedback

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 7/21/2015

Providing feedback (positive and constructive) is Management 101.  Giving feedback to direct reports, co-workers or team members is essential to success.  Providing upward feedback, while sometimes tricky, helps contribute to a transparent environment focused on growth and development.

If feedback is essential, why do we see so many situations where employees don’t know where they stand?  Why do some employees only get feedback once a year during their performance review?

Which of the following situations sound familiar?

  • You notice that sales aren’t where they need to be so you make a sarcastic comment during a sales meeting hoping the team catches on that you aren’t happy.
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Self-Assessment versus Feedback

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 9/18/2013

There are times when it is helpful to allow employees to analyze or assess their own performance versus providing them with your own feedback or perspective. This allows the person to think about what they did—what worked and what didn’t. As the leader/manager, you can certainly add to the conversation; however, the starting point is to take more of a coaching role and allow the employee to comment on the situation.

It involves three simple steps outlined below. Choose which questions best fit the situation and adapt to meet your needs.

1. Ask about what went well.

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Development Planning? Focus on Strengths…Close Development Gaps

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 3/14/2013

“People can do great things. However, there are some things they just CAN’T do. I, for instance, have not been able to transform myself into a Popsicle, despite years of effort.” — Brandon Sanderson, American fantasy author

Much has been written over the past several years about focusing on one’s strengths. Thousands of individuals at all levels in organizations have taken the StrengthsFinder® survey. For those unfamiliar, the StrengthsFinder® is an assessment that reveals dominant “themes” that help people focus on their strengths and abilities and focus their work and lives around them. The premise is that it makes more sense to leverage our strengths and talents versus trying to overcome shortcomings.

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Lack of Communication?

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 10/11/2012

Over the last 16 years, we’ve conducted a myriad of assessments for our clients. Whether 360 degree feedback, culture studies, team assessments, or employee opinion surveys, we often hear about a “lack of communication” within the organizations we work with. My guess is within the organization you work you hear that there is a lack of communication as well. But what does this actually mean? Does anyone in your organization know?

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Three Tips to Calm Chicken Little

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 7/14/2011

“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” — Chicken Little aka Henny Penny

Chicken Little

I’ve worked with a number of Chicken Little’s over the years. You know them…employees who become almost hysterical in their reaction to feedback or their belief that organizational or team disaster is imminent. These people are often unreasonably afraid. Worse yet, they often try to incite fear in those around them. So what can a leader do to calm Chicken Little?

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Where Will Your Key Talent be in 12-months?

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 5/24/2011

If you’re like many organizations…

…your key talent is thankful to have a job– but how long will that last?
…your key talent is over-producing – but how long will that last?
…your key talent is OK with not being developed or groomed – but how long will that last?
…your key talent doesn’t have many other employment options – but how long will that last?

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How Open Is Your Door?

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 3/15/2011

“An open-door policy doesn’t do much for a closed mind.”
–Bob Nelson, Author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees
Open Door_illustration
During a recent conversation with a client, I was asked, “How come employees don’t come into my office and ask questions or share their thoughts and concerns? I have an open-door policy.”

I think Bob Nelson’s quote provides the answer in a nutshell. The door may be open, but if no one is listening it slams shut very quickly.

So, how open is your door? Is it open in name only; or, do you create an environment where people are comfortable expressing their concerns, asking questions, providing feedback, and even venting.

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Adapting for Success

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 9/14/2010

When communicating with others, one of the key ways to increase effectiveness is to learn how to adapt your own style to meet the needs of the other individual. I spend a lot of time coaching people on adaptability. One of the most consistent themes in 360 feedback surveys is that managers need to do a better job adapting their style to meet the needs of other people (in particular their direct reports and peers). This is a critical leadership skill. To be influential, you need to master it. (We can’t expect them to meet our needs). Successful leaders learn this early on.

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Play to Your Team’s Strengths

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 9/7/2010

Not long ago, I re-read an article written by Jim Collins, author of Good to Great (and other thought provoking books). In the article, Jim paid homage to one of his mentors, Peter Drucker. Peter, of course, has had a huge influence on the world of business and the subject of leadership. One point Jim highlighted was that Peter Drucker always felt results came from building on a strength versus putting all your energy into shoring up a weakness. As I thought about this point, I began to think about how managers often spend an inordinate amount of time on their weakest team members. Think of all the energy that goes into feedback, coaching, corrective actions, performance reviews, and performance plans. Are you focusing on your team’s “weaknesses”? You yourself may be in charge of a team member that can’t seem to “keep up” to the standards you have set. How much of your time is spent with this individual in any given week or month? How much of your “face time” with team members is spent with your poor performers? Is all the time you are spending making your team better? Is it making your poor performer better?

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Resistance to Change

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 8/10/2010

A few months ago I was in a coaching meeting with an individual that was new to their organization. This individual was brought into the organization as a subject matter expert and was finding resistance to the ideas he was attempting to implement. As our conversation continued, he described a scenario I have heard others in multiple organizations convey, “Our leaders don’t think my new way of doing things will work in this organization.” As I listened I could hear the disappointment and frustration begin to build in his voice. He clearly saw his ideas as being attacked and took this to mean his technical expertise was in question.

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