Timing is Everything When Giving Feedback

Okay, maybe timing is not everything but it means a lot!

Generally speaking, feedback should be delivered immediately following an observed behavior and specific to what was observed to be most impactful.  The exception is when leaders are white-hot where delivering the feedback is likely to result in much credibility loss and the recipient will focus more on how angry or frustrated the leader is and less on what they should do in the future.

In those rare situations when frustrated beyond belief, exercising the 24-hour cool-off rule is very appropriate.  Simply indicate to the direct report something like “Let’s meet tomorrow at 9:00 when we’re both more calm to discuss what can be done to turn this situation around and prevent it from happening in the future.  I’m afraid meeting about it now may not be very productive for either of us.”

It’s okay for leaders to let their direct report know they are disappointed or angry without taking it out on them.

Leaders who empower direct reports by encouraging them to be part of the solution and don’t blame them for the negative situation will be more successful.

Explore posts in the same categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration

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