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Meaningful Feedback at Work—Give It and Get

Readers were interested in learning more about enhancing communication in the workplace. Today’s lessons focus on providing meaningful feedback. Next week’s lesson topic with meaningful feedback. Today we will focus primarily on performance feedback.

Santo Marabella

Let’s conclude this from the beginning. I generally rate managers as inferior to mid-career / mid-career (I was anxious to use that phrase) in providing and getting feedback. But why does the professor score so rigorously?

Two reasons. First, we briefly scanned key communication challenges in the workplace from at least 10 different trusted business sources. Feedback was often in the top five of everyone’s list. In addition to that, what I have observed or experienced over the years, and here I am.

My terrible over-generalization — I’m careless about how I provide feedback and don’t respond to how I use it (more on that later next week).

Careless feedback

You can see three ways we are careless. First, confuse the role of providing feedback with the permission to carelessly how to provide feedback. Second, we are good at overseeing the feedback process, but not very good at guiding the process. And third, the feedback we provide is often one-sided (as in the negative case).

Let’s take a look at each.

You will often be careless about how you build your feedback. In fact, I don’t think we’re assembling it at all. Regardless of how you land, I think you just spit out whatever you think you need to say. It also tends to overstate its importance as a manager to justify unfiltered feedback.

Two reasons why this is a problem. Not good! The target of our feedback is emotional humans. The second reason, after all, is that you can’t hear the inadvertently delivered feedback because the recipient has shut down. If in doubt, how often do you listen to rude people?

Second, carelessness in the feedback process to distinguish between coaching and coaching. Supervision is coordinating the feedback process. That is, ensure that feedback is provided and see when, where, and how it is done. Coaching is the difference between feedback that leads to learning and growth and feedback that brings nothing. When we coach, we teach our employees and volunteers to be better by helping them understand what and how they need to change. This is more time consuming than management and often uses too busy and unmanageable excuses. The main role of a manager is to grow employees and their performance.

Finally, there is one-sided feedback. Somewhere in the middle of management, it turns out that continuous improvement only corrects mistakes. That old world management doesn’t work today. Our resources need encouragement, support, and approval for what they are doing, rather than overthrowing their shortcomings.

My fear in pointing out these points is that some people think it’s a hugging, tactile, and feel-friendly management. Call it your will. But find ways to provide meaningful feedback to employees and volunteers and help them grow and balance areas for improvement and areas for strengths.

Please tell me why my view is inaccurate or unfair. I want to be disproved.

Next Week: Meaningful Feedback Part 2 — Get

Dr. Santo D. Malabella, a professor of practice, is a former professor of business administration at Moravian University and hosts the podcast “Office Hour with Practical Professor … and Friends.” His latest book, The Lessons of Caring, is written to inspire and assist caregivers (available in paperbacks and eBooks). Website: ThePracticalProf.com; Twitter: @PracticalProf; Facebook: ThePracticalProf.

Meaningful Feedback at Work—Give It and Get

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