360 Degree Performance Feedback Enhances Productivity
In a truly stellar workplace environment, I’ve found that proactive people freely give and receive “on course” and “off course” performance feedback with one another. I’ve observed that people who engage in a constructive feedback process build high integrity, productive relationships which help them most quickly and easily achieve their common goals.
Here are ten tips for gaining the most from collaboratively giving and receiving constructive feedback, both “affirmative on course” and “corrective off course”.
BUILD TRUSTING RELATIONSHIPS – If done poorly, openly receiving personal “off course” feedback can be a bitter pill to swallow. When trusting relationships are in place, people by their words, tone and actions they that are trying to help the person, not looking to feed their own ego.
KNOW THE GOAL OF YOUR FEEDBACK – Be clear in your own mind and heart what you want the person to do differently. Keep it in mind while you discuss it with them.
PICK THE RIGHT TIME AND PLACE – Giving both kinds of feedback to a person as soon as the performance incident is observed is best because their actions are still fresh in their minds. However, make sure you select an appropriate, private place to do it.
COMMUNICATE YOUR GOAL – Make it clear to the person what you need to talk about. If you think the other person knows what you are going to say, then start with a question like, "How well do you think your report was understood by our team?”
STATE WHAT WENT WELL AND WHAT NEEDS STRENGTHENING – First, help the person gain clarity about what they think went well. Then encourage them to share what might have improved the performance. Then coach them through appropriate options that might help them enhance their performance.
KEEP “COURSE CORRECTIVE” FEEDBACK FOCUSED AND SHORT – Make sure that you focus on one growth issue at a time to keep the person’s defensiveness and emotional upset to a minimum. You don’t want them to feel belittled. Make sure that you make your point and attentively listen to theirs as you reach closure together on the subject.
SHARE THE IMPACT – It’s also important to explain what the impact and consequences of their performance actions are on you, others and the well being of the company. This is intended as a “wakeup call” not a “scare tactic.” It’s ideally intended as a gentle reminder of the bigger picture and how important their performance is to the success of this picture.
BE PRESENT – Sincerely communicate verbally and non verbally that you are there to support them in their personal and professional growth efforts and are on their side. That can only happen if you give your full attention to the person, so make every effort to do so.
VALUE THE PERSON – End of the conversation with comments and facial expressions that let them know how highly you regard them. Let them know they are a valued member of your team and specifically the excellent work they contribute. Also that 360 degree performance feedback is how your team helps one another learn things to fine tune personal performance and group productivity.
SEEK PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT TOGETHER – Focus the feedback meeting on how you and the other person are working collaboratively to make things work better in future. Place an emphasis on being team players together.
Remember, the open and skillful giving and receiving of 360 degree performance feedback constructively contributes to growth in performance and becomes a powerful learning exercise. If you and your staff have not developed the skills to easily do this with one another, I strongly recommend you engage a professional business coach who is skilled in this process to help you and your team “gentle” into the process. A good coach will help you learn the skills for giving and receiving performance enhancing feedback together more quickly and easily.
Treating people well in this collaborative feedback process is the key to building trusting, one-on-one relationships which will strengthen the productivity of your entire enterprise.
If you need help in mastering and implementing any of the skills and tactics mentioned, I'm here for you! Please visit the Call-A-Coach section of my web site for more information.