Do you give fair and accurate informal feedback to your direct reports? Teams that do outperform by 40%. Would getting better at giving feedback and receiving it help your company perform better?
Dr. Eve Meceda spoke to my Vistage groups about mindset and gave us a set of clues for how to give fair, accurate informal feedback. My favorite was “to say it how they can hear it”.
That reminds me of a joke I heard many years ago. A guy was telling me that he and his wife had a lot of hallway sex. As a middle aged married woman, I was unfamiliar with the concept and asked him to explain. He said, they would pass each other in the hallway and say Screw you! , “No, screw you!” Okay….Like any good joke, the outcome was totally different from what you might have imagined from the introduction.
This is the same thing that can happen when we give feedback, if we don’t give it with good intentions and in a way that the other person can hear it, the result will not be good.
So, if someone is an extravert, praise them in public. They probably want more enthusiastic acknowledgement, a plaque, etc. If you are an introvert, your style may not match theirs and they may leave because they don’t think they are appreciated. Speak up in a way that may be uncomfortable to you. If you have words of improvement, just call them into your office and tell them calmly what the issue is. Ask them how they see the situation. They can usually speak off the cuff.
If you are an extrovert, and they are an introvert, praise them in private. A simple note may be exactly what they want. Give them time to prepare if you have words of improvement. Perhaps, they can consider what you said and come back in 2 days to discuss how they want to address the situation.
Say it how they can hear it. In both cases, they will see you as respectful, and you might begin to create a culture of higher performance. Who doesn’t want that? Pick one person this week that you have been meaning to either praise or suggest improvement and try this technique. Next week, we will discuss receiving feedback.