It’s a key skill for a manager, and in the current environment where people are already anxious it’s something I’m even more careful about delivery – it’s not something that comes easily for me.
I had a coaching session recently where my coach took me through a coaching model that really focuses on behaviour, which I’m practising. And then I found a video or rather a series of videos on Manager Tools which more or less gives you a script to work with in four steps.
|1||Can I give you some feedback?||Asks permission – a person can only “hear” the feedback when they’re ready. If they say no, ask for a good time to discuss later|
|2||When you…||Describe behaviour. DO NOT describe attitude or try to guess what the person was thinking. Stick to observable behaviour.|
|3||This happens…||Describe the outcome, the effect the behaviour has on the team/the meeting/the company.|
|4||What can you do differently next time?||Ask for them to give a solution, accept their answer – even if they don’t describe the behaviour you think of as ideal.|
It sounds so easy so why do I find this difficult? One of the mental switches that thinking about feedback has triggered is that I have thought of it as bad news. I’ve approached it from the “here’s what you’re doing wrong” perspective. With this model I’ve switched to a “let’s find a way to be better”, it’s about encouraging better behaviour.
With that mental switch, and some practice, I’ll get better at this.