Tag: feedback

HRInsights Weekly Lightbulb 04-05

This Week’s HRI “Lightbulb”  – The Distasteful Sandwich

This week’s HRI Lightbulb comes to us from Collette Carlson who has nifty advice wrapped in a food metaphor on providing negative feedback in a constructive manner.

The Distasteful Sandwich

by Collette Carlson

Have you been taught to “sandwich” constructive criticism be­­tween two positive statements?

Example: “Barb, you are a wonderful communicator, but the last three meetings you’ve dominated the conversation and even interrupted others while speaking. I’d appreciate you being more aware and giving others a chance to contribute. And by the way, your recent report outlining team goals was well-written.”

I think this is a distasteful way of delivering feedback and here’s why:

1.  ”But” is an eraser word. We all have been taught that anything that follows the word “but” negates everything said prior. The positive information gets discounted.

2.  The message doesn’t sound sincere. Since too many of us are familiar with this technique, it screams technique, which lowers trust and believability.

3.  It destroys the truth behind the positive messages. Most of us walk away from the “sandwiched” approach only hearing the critical feedback. We focus on the meat and completely miss the positive messages. It’s better to save the bread for another time to reinforce someone’s talents.

When you’re able to communicate effectively, you’ll see positive results — and sidestep some dangerous pitfalls.

What to do instead?

  1. Share the specific event, behavior or performance that concerns you.
  2. Explain how this creates a challenge.
  3. Ask for the desired behavior change.
  4. Be supportive and listen.

In the above example you would simply say, “Barb, the past three team meetings I’ve noticed you spoke the majority of the time and interrupted others. Others end up not contributing and we could be losing out on some great input. During our meeting later today, I’d like you to be more aware of your communication style and allow others the floor. I still want your input today. The team needs you and values your contribution. Can I support you in this in any way?”

You may think, “Hey, that was just an open-faced sandwich!” It was a sincere way to help Barb understand that she is valued. And the comment is also specific to the issue at hand.

Colette Carlson, MA is a funny and exciting Human Behavior Expert and author who motivates thousands worldwide revealing the power of Speaking Your Truth! Only by telling the truth on herself, combined with her hunger for personal development, was she able to overcome her own fears and addictions that kept her 50 lbs. overweight and making underwhelming choices. This led to her passion to share her wit and wisdom with others saving them time, money and sanity!  Visit Collette at www.speakyourtruth.com.

What is HR If You Are Not Open to Feedback?

Feedback is a gift!  And a true HR Professional actively requests feedback.  That’s exactly why HRInsights has installed a new Feedback and Support Forum on its website.  Consistent with our desire to provide simple and accurate HR solutions for small businesses, HRInsights wants it clients to have an easy way of telling us how we can provide better service!

In the lower right-hand corner of every page, an orange “feedback and support” button appears just waiting for your feedback.  Click, type and send!  HRInsights will immediately receive your comments, and we will follow-up personally.  HRInsights can only do better if you tell us how!

HRInsights Weekly Lightbulb 10/26

This Week’s HRI “Lightbulb”  – Negative Feedback

I think all of us have found that most people aren’t used to receiving negative feedback about their job performance.  Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise when it comes as a surprise to your employees.  Do yourself a favor.  First ask their permission to give them honest feedback.  It helps reduce or eliminate the element of surprise.  And, finish off your feedback with a truthful note of optimism.

HRInsights’ Weekly Lightbulb 10/21

This Week’s HRI “Lightbulb”  – Feedback

Ever ask for feedback?  It’s not human nature, but try it out with another employee who works for you or who you don’t know that well.  You may actually learn something important.  Go on!  Try it once every couple of weeks.  I don’t have the scads of research in front of me, but just asking for feedback also builds employee loyalty (in addition to them doing a more committed job).

FEEDBACK – If You Say It, Own It!

I recently came across a feedback tool called Unvarnished and a related blog written by Tim Gould. Tim, your perspective is spot on. I couldn’t help but offer a few comments of my own.

A place where people can make comments about others and not take accountability or responsibility for what they write or say is RIDICULOUS. I am not sure why anyone would spend the time or money on something that will just end up being a cesspool of personal opinion and personal attacks. That is not productive for any business and could be very distracting. It is LOADED with HR nightmares. I don’t mean HR inconveniences; I mean very real nightmares that could result in serious defamation and misconduct issues – just based on allegations because someone is ticked off.

It is more worthwhile spending time and money coaching/teaching managers and employees to give and receive feedback. In general, I am not a fan of any completely anonymous 360 feedback tools. In order to fully understand the feedback, you need to know who (at some level) provided the comments and from what context they are providing the information. For example, do you really think an employee who was just disciplined by the manager for significant job performance issues will have anything good to say? However, if negative feedback came from an employee who is an outstanding performer, it could have significant impact. There are many criteria that can influence (and should influence) the way feedback is received and eliminating the context of who is providing it diminishes its meaning and impact.

If you really have constructive feedback (employees or managers), there are always various ways to provide that feedback. As an employee, if you don’t feel like anyone in the company will listen without reprisal, then you should really consider finding a new company. If you are a manager and do not feel comfortable giving feedback to employees, you should seek coaching from your manager or HR. If this is something that you just can’t do, then you should not be a manager.

One thing is for sure, IF YOU SAY IT, OWN IT! Don’t hide behind anonymity.