In a recent workshop, Alex, a new manager, described a situation involving Marie, one of the people in his group. Marie was normally quiet, but when she felt nervous, she interrupted people. In a recent client meeting, Marie interrupted a key customer four times. Alex could see the client was becoming irritated, but Marie did not seem to be aware of what she was doing, or the effect she was having. I asked him how he had handled the problem with Marie. “Oh, I haven’t talked to her about it yet, ” the new manager replied. “She’s basically a good performer. We have a performance review coming up in three months. I’ll tell her about it then.” Excellent managers do not wait for the year-end performance cycle to provide feedback. They provide feedback on what is working well and what is not working frequently and to everyone on their staff, not just the underperformers. Providing useful feedback is not easy. However, it is an important part of a manager’s responsibility. In this article, I will share some of what I have learned about how to deliver effective feedback. What Is Feedback? Feedback is the information we give others when we want them to start, stop, continue, or change some behavior . Managers provide the people who report to them with information about results and behavior that relates to work and the work environment. Employees need information to know what they are doing well and where they need to make adjustments to be successful. If managers do not tell them, who will? According to the authors of “What Did You Say? The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback, ” feedback is “information about the past delivered in the present which may influence future behavior ” . Let us look at this definition in detail: • Information. This is not a judgment How to Talk About Work Performance: A Feedback Primer © Providing feedback on work performance is part of every manager’s job. Feedback is how people know what they are doing well, and what they need to do differently. Unfortunately, many managers do not receive much training on how to give feedback. Managers who are uncomfortable giving feedback may put it off or hope that hints and general statements will make their point. The author shares what she has learned about providing effective feedback, and advises how to get back on track when a feedback receiver has a puzzling response
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