LEADERS’ CLASSIC MISTAKE WHEN GIVING CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK
9 monthsago 0 Comments 424 Views
Almost every leader has been in a situation where: one of the team members gave a presentation or delivered an incomplete or even completely disappointing product. You know you need to follow up with them to provide the constructive feedback needed to not only avoid repeating the same bad thing, but also to help support their overall professional development.
Unfortunately, too many leaders will make the classic mistake of focusing the conversation almost exclusively on ideas and coaching and miss the opportunity to lead by asking for members’ opinions. In fact, one of the most effective ways a leader can initiate a constructive feedback conversation is to simply ask, “How do you think it went?” or “How do you feel about today’s presentation?”.
Starting with this simple question works great because it tells you their level of awareness, and it makes it easy to give constructive feedback and suggestions by reflecting on some of their initial comments. surname. Let’s check if you have ever made this classic mistake with the sharing below.
First, it’s important to start with their self-assessment as it provides insight into their perceived level and this will greatly help how you approach your own feedback.
For example, let’s say one of your team members presents a new proposal to an important client and you feel their presentation is weak. They do not present confidently, fail to answer some basic questions about the product, and often mumble instead of actively interacting with customers. Before giving all your observations and feedback, it is extremely important to understand how they rate their own performance. Their assessment might be “I feel fine, no problem at all” or it could be “I was really unprepared, and it was obvious that day, but I never will.” let that happen again.”
Understanding their level of self-awareness is an important first step because it’s essential to determining your own starting point and scope of feedback. If you and them both have different views on the matter, there’s probably a lot more work to be done and it will be necessary to start by cultivating awareness in a few key areas.
However, if they already know the mistakes they made, you don’t need to clarify again, but instead focus your attention on identifying ways to help them thrive. This also shows their maturity and skill because while they can be blamed for many other reasons, their perception is an important asset in the future.
Tailoring Your Feedback
Another significant benefit to starting the feedback conversation by asking for their assessment is that it provides them an opportunity to speak to their own missteps or weaknesses. No one likes telling others about their weaknesses, gaffes or mistakes so why spend time lecturing them about missteps they may already be tormenting themselves about? At that moment, they may need more support or encouragement. Perhaps they’ve blown their weaknesses out of proportion, and they really need proper context and grounding so they can help them keep things in perspective.
On the other hand, if their self-assessment reflects a complete lack of awareness, you will likely need to spend much more time explaining how their performance missed the mark in your view. You may want to invest time, energy and resources training, demonstrating or in other ways offering examples of what “good” looks like.
You may want to assign them a mentor or provide opportunities for them to shadow a colleague in an area where they may be building their competency. The takeaway is that if they don’t have awareness of the problem, you must create the awareness first before you have any hope of solving the problem. So remember that in that moment, the goal isn’t necessarily to offer your opinion but instead to give them what they need to be more successful going forward, and that arguably starts with figuring out where they are in terms of their own assessment.
Constructive feedback conversations can be tricky so don’t make the mistake of launching in with your “speech” before you’ve gathered the most critical information, their own self-assessment. Listen to understand, not to respond, and use this valuable information to determine the most effective next steps. Move away from “lecture mode” and step into a real conversation. Make sure they leave the exchange feeling heard and supported.
It’s quite possible that you may need to share some hard truths or you might be the first manager they’ve ever had who pointed out some improvement areas, and that’s fine. In many ways that’s what strong leadership is about, but remember to keep the focus on them, and one of the best ways to do just that is by letting them have an opportunity to reflect, pause and assess.