Category Archives: Feedback

Coaching Moments: Creating Opportunities to Motivate

Becoming a coaching manager doesn’t happen by proclamation or all at once. It takes an incredible amount of work, effort, and time. It also requires positive long-term commitment.

If you create frequent, brief, mostly positive, coaching opportunities, then your employees are more likely to be highly motivated.

Psychological Safety

It is important for managers to be in touch with their direct reports as individuals and as employees. A coaching relationship allows for this. To be successful, the employee needs to feel psychologically safe when talking with their manager. According to David Rock’s SCARF model for collaborating with & influencing others, managers need to be mindful of these 5 domains: Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness .

The following table summarizes the SCARF Model:

Coaching Moments

While keeping SCARF in the forefront of your mind, coaching moments are focused on what a manager needs from their employee AND what the employee needs from their manager. Sessions should be structured weekly; scheduled in advance; and limited to 15 minutes. It can be done in person or by phone. These can be done separately or as part of other one-to-one meetings – as long as a portion of the time is devoted to what employees need. Additionally, both parties should be accountable for holding these meetings: employees should be encouraged to confirm and remind the manager of coaching moments. They should also be encouraged to schedule additional coaching moments when needed.

Motivation Mindset

For the coaching moments to truly motivate your employees, use the following approach:

  • It’s not about who is right; it is about making a difference
  • It is a 2-way dialogue, not a dictate
  • Focus on future, not the past
  • Ask for and listen to the other person’s ideas
  • Try not to prove the other wrong
Process

Follow this structure at every coaching moments session:

Questions to Deepen Thinking

Do you consider yourself a coaching manager?
What will happen if you make an effort to cultivate psychologically safety for your employees?
Can you use 1:1 your time with employees differently?

Credit
Rock, D. (2008). SCARF: A brain-based model for collaborating with and influencing others. Neuroleadership.org
Goldsmith, M. (2015). Six Questions for Better Coaching. Talent Quarterly (#5, The Feedback issue), pp. 8-12, 29-30.
Boyatzis, R. & McKee, A. (2005) Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and
Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion.
Harvard Business School Press.

 

Related Posts

Leadership Revolution: The Coaches Are Coming!
Ongoing Regard: Boost the Power of Your Thank You
The DOs & DON’Ts of Curious Listening: Tell Me More
Build Empathy into Your Interactions Part 2: Climbing the Ladder of Inference
Accountability Leads to Innovation: 5 Requirements for Setting Clear Expectations
Build Empathy into Your Interactions Part 3: Deconstruct Your Conversations
The Two Faces of Feedback: Reinforcing & Corrective
Want Better Feedback Conversations? Prepare the Receiver

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Want Better Feedback Conversations? Prepare the Receiver

Third in a 3-Part Series on Feedback

Giving feedback is not a technical solution. Simply following the steps for delivering feedback will not suffice. One must also employ an adaptive process to manage emotions and behaviors.

The unusual approach for training around delivering feedback is focused on the giver – even though it is the receiver who determines the outcome. If the receiver is unable or unwilling to absorb the feedback it matters little how technically skilled the giver is. Data shows that reducing the fear and stress for the receiver has nearly three times more impact than improving the skills of the giver. How can you help the receiver? By creating a feedback-friendly environment and providing training for the receiver.

If feedback is delivered in a comfortable environment and at a pace the receiver is comfortable with
then the receiver is more likely to absorb the message and understand why it is beneficial.

BF_PreparingtheReceiverforFeedback_Infographic
 .
Creating a Feedback Friendly Environment

Given that feedback is inherently uncomfortable and emotional, it makes sense that an environment where people feel safe to talk about emotions will alleviate some of that stress. Also, when feedback interactions happen often, they become less of a big, scary monster.

Steps for Creating Feedback Environment
  1. Be aware of positive and negative emotion attractors and the impact of both.
  2. Deliver reinforcing feedback at least 7 times more often than corrective feedback.
  3. In reinforcing feedback conversations, focus on a specific action, event, or behavior. Praising talent and ability in general terms can result in risk aversion and heightened sensitivity to setbacks.
  4. Get to know each other as individuals. Build relationships.
  5. Occasionally talk about your own experience with negative emotions, embarrassments, disappointments, anger. Doing so will make others feel it is safe for them to feel those emotions.
  6. Have shorter, more frequent conversations. Several small conversations have a bigger impact than one big feedback session.
  7. Have informal conversations through weekly check-ins.
  8. Don’t call the conversation FEEDBACK. Never say I want to give you some feedback. Instead choose words that describe your intent; for example: I want to discuss progress or performance, describe the impact of your behavior, share positives, or open a dialogue.
  9. Institute the Feedback Recipient Bill of Rights (below).
Training for the Receiver of Feedback

The main objective of the receiver is to manage emotions and social threats so that they can hear what is being said. The adaptive process of giving good feedback involves allowing the receiver to control the pace of the feedback. Much like health professionals delivering stressful information, leaders should only give feedback as fast as the receiver can absorb it. Instituting the Feedback Recipient Bill of Rights will help with this process.

Feedback Recipient Bill of Rights (with sample script)
  1. You have a choice whether to receive the feedback at this time. “Now is not a good time. Can we do this later?”
  2. You can choose to suspend the feedback conversation if you are unable to continue. “I can’t hear any more right now. Can we finish this later?”
  3. You should restate and validate the reason for the conversation. “So the reason you are sharing this is because…?”
  4. You should test the giver’s assumptions“This is what I am hearing… Is this what you are getting at?”
  5. You have the right to request some time to reflect and schedule a follow-up conversation before any decisions are made. “I need some time to think about this before I respond. Can we finish this conversation later?”
  6. You should reflect back on the conversation when your emotions have subsided. “Ok. (Deep breath.) What does this information mean for me… Can I use it to help me…?”
  7. You should share your insights when you reconvene, without being defensive. “I thought about what you said… It made me feel… This is what I think…”
Questions to Deepen Thinking

What is keeping you from changing your work environment to make it more feedback friendly?
What might happen if you allow a person to postpone or suspend a feedback conversation?
What are the consequences if you don’t allow the receiver to step away from the conversation until emotions subside?

Credits
Batista, E. (2013, December). Building a feedback-rich culture.
Batista, E. (2015, February). Make getting feedback less stressful. Harvard Business Review.
Beatty, R. (2015). Feedback: Navigating for individual and organizational effectiveness. Talent Quarterly(5), 51-56.
Boyatzis, R. & McKee, A. (2005) Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion. Harvard Business School Press.
DiNisi, A. S. (2015). Does feedback really work? Talent Quarterly(5), 45-49.
Heen, S. &. (2015). Don’t blame HR if your performance evaluation system doesn’t work. Talent Quarterly(5), 21-24.
Rock, D. (2015). Time to rethink the concept of ‘feedback’. Talent Quarterly(5), 41-44.
Zenger, J. &. (2015). Feedback: The leadership conundrum. Talent Quarterly(5), 31-38.

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Related Posts

Feedback: A Dirty Word?
The Two faces of Feedback: Reinforcing and Corrective
Ongoing Regard: Boost the Power of Your Thank You
Build Empathy Into Your Interactions Part 2: Climbing the Ladder of Inference
Build Empathy Into Your Interactions Part 3: Deconstruct Your Conversations

The Two Faces of Feedback: Reinforcing & Corrective

Second in a 3-Part Series on Feedback

If feedback is “information that you believe will be helpful to another person,” why reserve feedback conversations for special occasions such as annual performance review or discipline? If you truly want to help another person there are several reasons to initiate a feedback conversation: to describe the impact another’s behavior is having on you; to discuss progress on achieving goals; to discuss performance; to give positive reinforcement; or simply to open a dialogue.

Regardless of the intent of your feedback conversation, there are two types: Reinforcing and Corrective.

Delivering Feedback

Although it is a fragile process, feedback is critical if people are going to grow and be successful. As the giver’s competence in delivering feedback and providing a feedback-friendly environment improves, the engagement, commitment, and productivity of the receiver increases dramatically. So how does a leader handle this delicate process? By using empathy, ongoing regard, and creating a feedback-friendly environment.

If feedback conversations are frequent, informal, and nonthreatening, then the feedback is more likely to be successful.

BF_Feedback_Codex_Infographic

Reinforcing Feedback

Never underestimate the value of being valued. If you make ongoing regard part of your daily leadership practice you are ahead of the game. Much more than just praise, ongoing regard conversations are reinforcing, they support desired behaviors, and they elicit positive emotions. Theorists agree that there needs to be 5-7 more reinforcing conversations to every corrective conversation.

Steps for reinforcing feedback:
  1. State the behavior; be specific
  2. Focus on the person’s effort rather than capabilities
  3. State the positive impact it had on you
  4. State the positive impact it had on the team, organization, etc.
  5. Do this often (at least weekly)

Corrective Feedback

As a leader, be mindful of your intention when delivering corrective feedback. Adopt the mindset, “my mission is not to be right, my mission is to make a positive difference.” If you set the stage for trust by practicing empathy, testing assumptions, and deconstructive conversations when delivering corrective feedback, you will manage emotions, assuage fear, and temper the stress level of the conversation.

Steps for corrective feedback:
  1. State your intent in a positive way describing the reason for the conversation (see above)
  2. Emphasize mutual goals and shared values
  3. Share the information/data and state how it has affected you
  4. Practice empathy to temper stress
  5. Validate that you are both on the same page by testing assumptions
  6. Close by asking, “Is there anything I can do?”
  7. Deconstruct the conversation after stepping away

Questions to Deepen Thinking

What might happen if you deliver reinforcing feedback more frequently?
How might you deliver corrective feedback differently?
What are the consequences of not providing enough reinforcing feedback?

Credits

Batista, E. (2013, December). Building a feedback-rich culture.
Batista, E. (2015, February). Make getting feedback less stressful. Harvard Business Review.
Beatty, R. (2015). Feedback: Navigating for individual and organizational effectiveness. Talent Quarterly(5), 51-56.
Boyatzis, R. & McKee, A. (2005) Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion. Harvard Business School Press.
DiNisi, A. S. (2015). Does feedback really work? Talent Quarterly(5), 45-49.
Heen, S. &. (2015). Don’t blame HR if your performance evaluation system doesn’t work. Talent Quarterly(5), 21-24.
Rock, D. (2015). Time to rethink the concept of ‘feedback’. Talent Quarterly(5), 41-44.
Zenger, J. &. (2015). Feedback: The leadership conundrum. Talent Quarterly(5), 31-38.

Related Posts

Feedback: A Dirty Word?
Want Better Feedback Conversations? Educate the Receiver
Build Empathy into Your Interactions: Part 1 (of 3)
Build Empathy into Your Interactions Part 2: Climbing the Ladder of Inference
Build Empathy into Your Interactions Part 3: Deconstruct Your Conversations
Ongoing Regard: Boost the Power of your Thank You

Feedback: A Dirty Word?

First in a 3-Part Series on Feedback

In simple terms, feedback is information that one person believes will be helpful to another person. The way we approach feedback has changed in recent years. Not only is the term “feedback” now discouraged, the concept has changed from a technical solution to an adaptive, ongoing process.

What We Know

1. Employees fear, yet want and need feedback.
2. Most training is focused on the giver of feedback, not the receiver.
3. No matter how skilled a feedback giver is, the receiver determines the outcome.

What we know about feedback: Employees fear, yet they want and need feedback. Most training is focused on the giver of feedback, not on the receiver.

Although feedback is crucial for people to grow, be successful, and manage their working relationships, it is inherently stressful for both the giver and receiver. Feedback conversations provoke strong emotions and trigger defensiveness. Our brains are not wired for it – especially receiving feedback. Data shows that the stress involved in receiving feedback can make the situation counterproductive and may even cause a decrease in performance.

“Six of the scariest words in the English language are:
‘Can I give you some feedback?’” – Ed Batista

We Can’t Ignore Emotions

The prescribed steps in the classic model of feedback no longer suffice. We need to go on the assumption there is fear built in and we need to practice an adaptive process that manages those emotions. Even if the giver focuses on the other person’s behavior instead of the person or the attitude, the receiver still experiences psychological triggers that cause them to feel threatened. Giving feedback is also challenging and uncomfortable. As a result, there is a tendency to avoid feedback.

Be Mindful of the Social Threat

The name you give this practice is critical. A quick google search for synonyms of the word feedback yields strong negative words like criticism, rebuttal, retaliation, and accusation. Instead of using the word ‘feedback’ when naming the conversation or meeting, choose words that describe your intent; for example: discuss progress or open a dialogue.

Let go of the old terms ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ feedback. Those terms came from the original scientific theory of feedback and do not translate well to management theory. Think of feedback as either reinforcing or corrective. Both are beneficial and both are necessary. Research shows that a person should receive 7 reinforcing conversations for every corrective conversation. (Read our next post to learn more about reinforcing and corrective feedback.)

If feedback conversations are frequent, informal, and nonthreatening, and the receiver is receptive, then the feedback is more likely to be mutually beneficial.

Make Giving and Receiving Feedback a Required Skill

There are things that can be done individually and throughout your organization to make feedback conversations less stressful and more effective. Designate ‘giving and receiving feedback’ as a required skill. Encourage leaders to have regular, routine conversations where they give and receive feedback. Train all managers and supervisors how to communicate feedback effectively. In addition, educate all employees how to receive feedback 

Questions to Deepen Thinking?

What are the consequences when feedback doesn’t go well?
What will changing your approach to feedback get you?
If you don’t develop your feedback skills, what could happen?

Credits

Batista, E. (2013, December). Building a feedback-rich culture.
Batista, E. (2015, February). Make getting feedback less stressful. Harvard Business Review.
Beatty, R. (2015). Feedback: Navigating for individual and organizational effectiveness. Talent Quarterly(5), 51-56.
Boyatzis, R. & McKee, A. (2005) Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion. Harvard Business School Press.
DiNisi, A. S. (2015). Does feedback really work? Talent Quarterly(5), 45-49.
Heen, S. &. (2015). Don’t blame HR if your performance evaluation system doesn’t work. Talent Quarterly(5), 21-24.
Rock, D. (2015). Time to rethink the concept of ‘feedback’. Talent Quarterly(5), 41-44.
Zenger, J. &. (2015). Feedback: The leadership conundrum. Talent Quarterly(5), 31-38.

Related Posts

The Two Faces of Feedback: Reinforcing & Corrective
Want Better Feedback Conversations? Prepare the Receiver