Feedback Should Be About Observed Behavior

Contrary to what some may think, no leader can read their direct report’s mind or know their intentions.  Why is it then that leaders focus on what they think their direct report is thinking when delivering course corrections?

Effective feedback from the leader to the direct report is essential.  But, feedback should be about observed behavior NOT perceptions or opinions.  

When delivering feedback leaders should also point out how the direct report’s behavior impacts others.  And the best way to get the direct report to change their behavior is to solicit self-directed course corrections – ask them how they might behave differently.

Instead of “You have a bad attitude,” a more effective course correction would be “I’m concerned that all the efforts you’ve made to earn the respect and trust of your colleagues may be undone when you roll your eyes and sigh when Bill makes a suggestion.  What do you believe others may think when they observe those actions?  How might you regain their respect?”

Leaders’ feedback should be objective and behavior-based to empower their direct reports to succeed.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Communication, Leadership, Performance Acceleration

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