In this Issue:
Coaching skills have proved to be essential to managerial success, helping with employee onboarding and retention, performance management, knowledge transfer, and skill improvement.
Best practices for optimizing coaching sessions from Forbes & BizLibrary include:
"People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be, not what you nag them to be"
"A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could."
"The most unprofitable item ever manufactured is an excuse."
Paul Charles & Associates
How Effective is Your "Feedback" Style?
A recent Gallup article revealed that only 14.5% of managers strongly agree that they are effective at giving feedback to team members.
While we all need feedback in order to grow and develop our skills, if that feedback is ineffectively delivered it can backfire. When a manager’s “feedback style” is overly negative (i.e., focuses on weaknesses) or aggressive it most often causes team members to feel demotivated, criticized, disappointed or depressed. In such cases, the manager’s attempt to bring about improvement or behavioral change has failed.
In fact, Gallup research shows that only 10.4% of employees whose manager’s feedback left them with negative feelings are engaged, and 80% say they’re actively or passively looking for other employment.
Conversely, workers whose manager’s feedback left them with positive feelings (i.e., they felt inspired to improve or positive about knowing how to do their work better) are 3.9 times more likely to be engaged than employees who felt hurt, and only 3.6% of them are actively looking for another job.
“Congratulatory or corrective, feedback should motivate employees to do better work, position them for success and engage them,” the article said.
However, authors Cheyna Brower and Nate Dvorak point out, “this doesn’t mean positive feedback is necessarily effective feedback. Employees can walk away from a performance review feeling more engaged than ever, but without hearing what they need to know to improve.”
Providing Effective Feedback
To effectively provide feedback, the goal is not to say a negative thing in a positive way, but rather to say both positive and negative things in ways that improve workers’ performance.
It helps if managers operate under the premise that people want to do good work but might lack information or specific skills for their role. This is critically important, as encouragement from one’s team leader is a powerful motivator and has a strong impact on confidence levels and attitude. When team members feel as though their manager believes in them, they tend to rise to the occasion!
Suggestions for keeping feedback sessions both positive and effective include:
- Start with wins; recognize and discuss successes; build upon strengths to help build confidence as opposed to starting out talking about weaknesses.
- Avoid the “but” approach; in an attempt to start on a positive note, managers often begin a coaching or review session with a statement of praise, and then immediately follow-up with the dreaded “but…” after which the discussion goes negative. This approach is ineffective, often expected, and destined for failure.
- Focus on specifics; telling someone their work is “mediocre” without identifying what “good” would look like is not effective.
- Combine encouragement with constructive feedback, as people generally want to learn how to improve.
- Conduct frequent communication – annual or semi-annual reviews alone don’t cut it; weekly (sometimes daily!) conversations keep all parties aware of performance, improvement needs, and accomplishment, and can significantly impact engagement and motivation.
Volume 519 - Terrible "Toos"
Too many sales people talk too much and listen too little; and these "terrible too's" can sabotage a sales effort in numerous ways! Fortunately, there are some simple solutions... Read more...
Volume 419 - The "5th" P
As you may know, these basic principles are commonly referred to as the four “P’s” of marketing: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. But there is still one more critical ingredient that will, ultimately, separate your approach from those of your competitors! Read more...
Volume 319: Are You Working On It or In It?
We are constantly challenged to make important decisions about being both efficient and effective... about spending time working both “in” our business and “on” our business. The question is, how much time should we spend on each? Read more...
Volume 219: Sales Leads
Looking at a familiar phrase from a different perspective, how does your organization's leadership support or impact the selling process? Read more...
Volume 119: Assume the Sale, But Never the Reason
It's the New Year, and time to reflect on how we can improve our sales effort. Successful sales professionals are able to more effectively close sales not because they are silver-tongued or aggressive when it comes to asking for the business, but rather because they are diligent and proficient when it comes to implementing three important things. Read more...