When I’m working with managers, I often ask them what they feel when they hear these words from their boss.
“Would you like some feedback?”
To be frank, their answer, like mine when I was a manager, would usually prefer to be ‘No, thanks!’, yet we always say, rather hesitatingly, ‘Yes, please!’ and wait for the painful words!
The reason for our apprehension is that if and when the question is asked, we just know that something painful is about to arrive!
Feedback is almost always perceived and ‘bad news’ when it is offered, because it is only offered when there is some criticism about to hit home.
Feedback has a bad press.
It has that poor reputation because it is so often used as a sad epithet for a way to tell you off! It isn’t valid feedback at all. It”s used simply as a license to complain, criticise or otherwise get bad news across.
The good news is that for you, there’s a different way, that is much more valuable.
Only give positive feedback to your people!
At least to start with and even when there is something that they might need to change, you sell it much differently.
‘There’s one thing that would make things even better.
You might want to consider (or think about), reviewing
the preparation for the presentation next time
and see how it goes’
Now isn’t that nicer and more valuable!
For the moment, spend a whole week offering positive feedback and see what happens – more, see how you feel.
In week two offer the alternative feedback when things could have gone a bit better if they thought about alternatives, using the words above.
Your people will love it – and you – for the kind and encouraging things you say.
And above all, it’s a far nicer job for you to do as well.