The Business Leaders and Feedback

published in: Leader

16 Oct
2009

I never had a boss who provided any feedback.  In my last job I asked my supervisor – an Austrian – for a written evaluation of my performance.  It took him 3 weeks and 4 reminders to provide a table form with rankings from 1 to 10 on 40 characteristics and his vague statement why he decided to put 7 or 8 or 9 (the latter only orally)… The way a company provides feedback reveals its true values.  It also reveals whether the feedback provider is a manager or business leader.

 
That lack of feedback reinforced my natural tendency to be more critical and less encouraging.  I accepted as granted my best colleagues’ high motivationfeedback, leader I only cared for their future development, but not for their current emotional state.  Knowing that weaknesses of mine I read every book on the subject (but as these books faced me occasionally my first steps in the right direction were delayed).
 
I remember three principles and three taboos which I want to share:
 
Principle 1: Regularly provide constructive feedback and positive comments to all direct subordinates.  Ask them to do the same with their employees.
 
Ideally, "regularly" means after each individual task or after each new "record" of an employee.

Principle 2: Identify at least one development area for every employee.
 
Provide the employee with opportunities to grow in professional and/or personal aspect (for instance, develop his/her goal setting skills or learn Spanish).  It is recommended that these goals are 6-18 months long, written, one copy stays with the employee, and every six months the superior and subordinate should sit together and review the progress.

Principle 3: Focus on the future success of the employee by requiring him to set the goals and incentives that motivate him.
 
The biggest present a manager can do for her/his employees is to support their success and self-understanding.  To assist someone to match his own desires to his real abilities is a priceless gift.

Here's an example of how an employee felt after getting a positive comments on a well done job:
- I entered my boss office 160 cm high, and left it - 180 cm tall.

Lord, gives us all such business leaders!  Be leader, have the courage to give constructive comments on employees’ work!  Be business leader, and develop the habit never to postpone a positive comment!
 
On the other side of the medal there are three taboos:
 
1. Do not assume your employees know how appreciated they are.
2. Do not presume that your employees have reached their performance limits
3. Do not leave your employees without attention and care.

Unlike the other post closures this time I will not close it with pathetic paragraph regarding the significance of the feedback for the leaders.     I will only quote Dr. Kenneth Blanchard: "Feedback is the breakfast of the champions!"

 

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