Feedback Should Be Timely, Specific, And Delivered With The Intent Of Seeing Your Direct Report Succeed

‘Tis the season…for football, dance, cheerleading, soccer, etc.  As I watched my favorite team scramble for a win on Saturday, I thought about all the coaching these players would get during and after the game, despite the win, as the team worked to improve.

Then I pondered all the feedback we’ve all gotten through the years, probably since we were tots, as we learned sports, the arts, or scholastics.  We expected and paid our coaches, mentors, and teachers to give us feedback.  We were all prepared for typical course corrections, and we didn’t cry about it, we didn’t complain, we used it to improve our next efforts and when we received praise, we knew we earned it.  We knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, that these leaders from whom we took direction wanted us to win, or succeed in however that’s measured.

So why, as business leaders, do we shy away from giving direct reports course corrections or positive feedback in a timely, specific, direct manner?  I frequently hear “the direct report will get defensive,” or “I don’t want to hurt their feelings,” but with all the experience they’ve had receiving feedback, we know they shouldn’t be fragile.  I can’t help but wonder if it is because we doubt our direct reports really believe our intention is to see them succeed.  Between traditional HR departments telling us “constructive criticism” must be documented in case we ever need to discipline a direct report or sever their employment, and employee representatives working to convince employees their supervisors are out to get them, our intentions are under severe scrutiny.

What if you explain individually to your direct reports you want them to be wildly successful and in order to do that you plan to give them more direct positive feedback and course corrections in a very timely manner, much like all the coaches with whom they grew up?  Look your direct report in the eye and convey your genuine desire to see them succeed and give them permission to challenge you if ever they begin to doubt why or how you are delivering the feedback.  Then watch the trust and productivity soar.

Empower your employees with candid feedback delivered with the commitment to their success and watch your team grow.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration

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