The question, then, is how do you provide feedback in a constructive way. It takes practice, Robin says, but one key is making sure that feedback isn’t given just once in a while, but instead is part of the ongoing maintenance of the relationship. Employees who rarely receive feedback are more easily upended by one piece of constructive feedback. Without the context or perspective that ongoing feedback provides, they might blow the comment out of proportion.
Could. Not. Agree. More.
This is a major thing people don’t ever “get” about work. Giving feedback is hard, and I understand that. But most people don’t even get to that level of “Whoa, this is hard.” Rather, they stop at “Naw, I’m too busy. I don’t have time for feedback!”
That’s miserable because feedback is important — and the whole notion of being a leader (or even being a manager) is more about empathy and feedback than about chasing deliverables, although no one seems to understand that.
And then, of course, when we do decide to get feedback from employees, we make it anonymous, which totally screws up any notion of accountability.
And then we get sooo into the generalized concept of “feedback” in the way that consultants are up-selling it to us that we design a system around it that’s basically a concentration camp.
This is majorly one of the things I just don’t get about work and how work is structured. Why don’t people care about getting/giving/receiving feedback? Are we all just supposed to come in and chase our deliverables and that’s it? If we’re doing that with no feedback mechanisms, how do we even know if we’re doing it right? Just because revenue is still there? The whole thing seems pretty dumb to me.
Things like feedback, trust, reputation, communications, reciprocity, transparency, etc … they’re really important to the core of our human relationships, right? But at work, they’re total soft skills that no one really gives two craps about. The disconnect there is staggering.
My name’s Ted Bauer; I blog here regularly and you can learn about hiring me for freelance and contract gigs as well.