Have you been in a meeting with an employee who never stopped talking the entire time? Or used slang in front of a client? Or took too long to do a simple task?
How quickly did you approach her or him to provide feedback on the behavior to discuss changes? Never? Did you let it go until it happened again?
Here is a simple approach straight out of our workshop:
1. See It as an Opportunity for Growth - Ken Blanchard calls it “redirection” vs. "criticism." Whether you see opportunities for redirection for yourself, hear it from others, or identify it from a report, it’s your job as a leader to address the situation quickly.
2. Make It Balanced - I don’t subscribe to the “sandwich” approach of saying a positive, then the negative, then wrap it up with a positive in the same conversation. That’s too complicated. However, I do believe that you have to provide a lot more positive feedback than redirection. Try 5 to 1 over a period of time.
3. Be Specific About Behavior - Whether you’re providing redirection, or praising them for a job well done, discuss the behavior rather than generalities. “I noticed in our meeting that you had many new ideas to share. Let’s discuss a way to allow others to participate so you can listen more. That will help you grow in your job”
4. Be Timely - Do it quickly, yet be sensitive to other things that are going on or if other people are nearby or even think about the mood you are in. Most importantly, don’t wait too long to provide feedback to your employees.
Providing performance feedback is tough for even the most seasoned leaders. If you practice this skill as a leader, you will have employees who will love working with you and you will enjoy your job helping them grow and succeed.