In this video, explore two approaches to feedback: the “what went wrong” blame approach and the future-focused growth approach.
- So often performance feedback tends to focus on what went wrong and how things should have been done. In other words, it's focused on the past. And we've all been there. You miss a deadline or botch your project and your boss defaults to so-called constructive criticism. And says things like, "You should have given me a heads up!" or "If it were me, I would have done x, y, and z." or worse, "You really screwed things up and we're way behind deadline and now it's on me to clean everything up." Yikes! Here's the deal. People experience constructive criticism as shaming. And when people feel shamed and judged, it not only slows momentum, it feeds disengagement too. Plus, when we highlight how people went wrong, it builds defensiveness, because it puts the spotlight on mistakes and shortcomings. But future focus feedback sidesteps this personal critique in favor of teasing out what's possible, and what might be improved in the future. So, let's go back to our missed deadline and botched project. Here's what future focused feedback might sound like. "Okay, that's disappointing for both you and me." "What happened?" Now this is a good approach because let's face it your probably having some pretty strong feelings, and expressing your disappointment is real. And asking what happened gives you an opportunity to gather information while also allowing your employee to tell their story and vent a little. But you don't want to just vent and let things sit. Your next question needs to focus on the future and it might sound like this. "Let's put our heads together and brainstorm and see how we can turn things around." Once you've explored possibilities and identified some solutions, you're in action again. Now once the dust is settled and the solution is in motion, you need to schedule time for reflection, and ask a couple of more questions. "What can we do in the future to make sure we don't find ourselves here again?" Or "Let's really dig in and explore lessons learned from the whole experience." You know yourself, if you tend to default to criticism and judgment about how your employees fail to achieve a goal, learning to give future focused feedback may take a little practice. In fact, here's a little power tip to help you practice future focused feedback. Once you've learned what the problem is, take a few minutes to cool down and gather your thoughts. A little pause will help you put your coaching hat back on. Now listen, we can't change the past but we can influence the future. So ultimately this future focused feedback is more efficient because it keeps the trust level high in your relationship. Maintains momentum, and keeps people focused on the goals and results your all working toward. It's the kind of feedback that comes from leadership and inspires leadership.
- Recall methods for probing deeper in conversations with employees.
- Determine which aspect of a challenge to avoid when determining the challenge an employee can undertake.
- Recognize questions that generate the greatest number of ideas during a brainstorming session.
- Explain the advantage of using focused feedback with an employee.
- Identify the potential benefits of listening and using open-ended questions with an employee who is unhappy with her or her job.