Provide Feedback Based On Observed Behaviors

Behaviors are observable actions we all demonstrate.  Some behaviors are more productive than others.  All behaviors leave those observing the behavior with an impression of us.  When providing feedback to your direct reports, site their behavior not your interpretation of the action.

Some examples:

  • Instead of “You are rude and inconsiderate,” say “I’m concerned when you rolled your eyes and interrupted Tim during our meeting, you appear rude and inconsiderate.”
  • Instead of “You need to be a better team player,” say “I’m worried when you said ‘we worked hard on that report’ despite being the only team member who didn’t stay late to work on it, you give the impression of not being a team player.”
  • Instead of “Your clothes are unprofessional,” say “I’m afraid when you wore that sheer blouse, you looked unprofessional.”
  • Instead of “You don’t care about your job,” say “I’m concerned when you showed up late for three meetings last week, you gave the impression you don’t care about your job.”
  • Instead of “You did a good job yesterday,” say “You did a good job preparing the summary report for our team meeting yesterday.”

Empowered leaders keep feedback focused on the behavior not interpretations, making feedback conversations more objective and less argumentative for continued success.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Communication, Leadership

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