Feedback Shouldn’t Mean Telling People They Are Generally OK

When you talk to an employee, feedback shouldn’t mean just telling him/her they are OK, but still need to improve a bunch of stuff or… even worse, shouldn’t be only about emphasizing what they do wrong.

Feedback Shouldn’t Mean

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Feedback should not be given just about the negative side of things; on the contrary, you need your subordinate to carry on with a certain behavior or to keep doing an activity they perform well. If we only focus on what we do wrong, we’ll soon end up being frustrated; there is nearly no chance of being good at everything all the time, under all circumstances.  

Instead, we can channel our efforts on what we do well and once we are at it, look to see what we can improve. In case you are not performing so well your key activities… then it’s a totally different situation. You can’t go to your manager and tell them you are a bright yoga practitioner while you need to improve 90% of your professional behavior.  

We start with the presumption that you want to improve your daily activity, you already have some progress in this area and that you are good at your job – ‘cause you chose it and no one forced you to it. 

Feedback doesn’t mean making some generic comments, but providing clear and useful insights. 

Feedback doesn’t mean a one direction process, for the superior to tell the employee to change all of a sudden, because you cannot change people. Nonetheless, you can change the way you do certain things, which will result in improved performance. 

Feedback doesn’t mean telling your employee that he/she didn’t achieve the expected level, once a year, during the performance review. It needs to be an ongoing process, to show clearly how things evolve, without having to wait for a particular day or month of the year to do it.  

If you, as the manager, only talk with your subordinates when they make a mistake, don’t be surprised if their self-esteem is dropping or their professional development is stalling, as they seem not to be doing anything right – or at least, this is what they seem to get from you.  

FeedBACK is not criticism and should not focus on the past or on the individual, but on what you want to happen differently in the future. 

Most important, feedback shouldn’t certainly be about public or private humiliation. 

Good luck succeeding!

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