Annual Performance Reviews are often dreaded by most employees.
It is the time of the year where we often get offended, where leaders realize that they don’t really understand what is going on in their organization.
In addition, most employees believe that their performance review is inaccurate and biased. It has been shown that it doesn’t help employees improve their performance reach their greatest potential, or grow personally.
That is because, performance reviews:
- Are given annually which is insufficient. Indeed, mistakes have time to fester for a whole year.
- Don’t provide enough details. The annual performance review tracks a few of our skills and take snapshots of our behaviors.
- Take into account only one person’s point of view.
- Cross-examines someone with different sets of sills with defective criteria.
Wondering how to adequately give and receive feedback?
The ability to give and to receive feedback is essential to success and to being a great leader. It is a personal development tool and a skill that can be learnt.
What is constructive feedback?
Feedback is the general way you perceive people, is a shared appreciation of a person and of a situation.
Furthermore, feedback is constructive criticism, challenges the way you think about yourself and aims to see people improve and become their best selves. It is the desire for employees to perform well and to find satisfaction in their job.
In fact, giving feedback is similar to coaching, mentoring or teaching.
Feedback is different from micromanagement, negative criticism or emitting judgement. It can be wrong but it is unfortunately necessary for our growth.
Benefits of the feedback process
We perpetually need evaluation to assess our current situation, our ego and our work performance.
The feedback process, if done the right way, will:
- Assess your strengths, weaknesses and blind spots, through external input.
- Positively influences your self-esteem, relationships, job performance and job satisfaction.
- Analyze how you deal with conflicts and with failures.
- Give you validation, recognition, support and encouragement..
- Improve team morale and team engagement.
However, giving or receiving feedback is difficult: it relies on false assumptions, it consumes time and energy, is often met with avoidance or with resistance.
Nevertheless, being closed off from feedback unequivocally leads to conflicts, to setbacks, to communication issues, to an inability to find a solution.
How to receive feedback?
Receiving feedback as a leader will set the example and encourage people to listen to what you have to say.
Receiving feedback doesn’t mean automatically acting on the advice or immediately starting the changing process. It means that you must:
- Understand that there is always room for improvement.
- Be open to feedback in general and therefore to understanding someone’s perception of you.
- Listen to what people you trust are saying about you and give the thoughts some consideration.
- Consolidate your confidence and set apart your identity from the perceptions people have about you.
- Understand that you have the option to choose to apply the feedback.
- Identify your triggers and fortify your emotional intelligence. You must therefore be willing to ask the right questions, to objectively talk about issues regarding you and to separate the person giving you feedback from the actual message.
- Learn from your mistakes and give yourself time to apply what you have learnt.
How to give feedback?
Leaders who are able to effectively receive feedback are able to give them as well, must exhibit exemplary behavior. To give effective feedback:
- Build trust and respect in your employees.
- Help people feel good about themselves and motivate them to grow.
- Develop an adequate communication style.
- Find out why you are implementing the feedback process.
- Specifically identify the issues you need to deal with, the reasons and the solutions for them.
- Understand that everybody processes information differently, has their personal systems of belief and their own truths. This makes the interpretation of feedback difficult.
- Before starting the process, collect enough information to form an accurate opinion. Prepare examples to back up your claims. Do not assume things about people and do not classify them.
- Don’t project, force people to change, force people to be something that they are not or treat them like a project that needs to be fixed.
- Mind your intent and be genuine in your delivery. Inauthentic feedback breeds distrust and generates negative emotional responses.
- Be empathetic. Think about what you are going to say and do before meeting with the person. Show appreciation, choose your words and timing carefully.
- Discuss people’s work performance but not their personality nor core values.
- Focus on people’s strengths rather than their weaknesses.
- Avoid definite terms such as “never”, “always”, “must”, “should”, and make “I’ statements.
- Encourage positive behavior. Work is not always fair and not everyone plays by the same rules.
- Acknowledge that there are consequences to every action.
- Give frequent feedback outside the annual performance review, in private, as soon as possible.
Last Word Of Advice!
Human beings are very sensitive and most people are not confrontational. So, treat people like you would like to be treated. Don’t seek to offend or to blame, and don’t talk down to them.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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