Feedback, is the art of growing your staff through constructive criticism, honest and committed. Our working World often works with encrypted measures, or no performance measures. In interviews conducted by Dr. Brené Brown’s team, the lack of feedback causes a lot of anxiety.

Without feedback, it is impossible to grow your team. When you do not speak to your employees of their strengths and growth opportunities, they question their contribution and commitment of the manager to help them advance in their careers.

There are 2 problems that come up:

  1. We are not comfortable with the difficult conversations;
  2. We do not know how to receive and give feedback in order to get things done.

To learn, grow, and improve, you MUST be uncomfortable. That’s why we repeat over and over that all miracles are happening outside of your comfort zone. If you do not agree to be uncomfortable, you do not will progress as a manager, and your team will not progress either.

Observe the performance from the strengths point of view (of the employee) gives us the opportunity to look at his difficulties through his talents, abilities, skills and hopes.

A great way to give feedback to your team members, or anyone with whom you have a difficult conversation is to give three strengths, then an opportunity for improvement. Take the example of Marie-France, recruiter, who just missed a placement because the candidate has accepted another offer:

Strengths :

  • You develop a great relationship with your candidates, they are loyal
  • Your interviews are effective, they allow us to obtain relevant information to advance the candidacy
  • You find the right candidates quickly, it helps us look good to our clients.

Opportunity :

  • You could take advantage of the excellent relationship you have with your candidates to ask them about their interest in the job, and whether they have job opportunities elsewhere. This way, we do not learn bad news like last week.

When you need to have a difficult conversation, you must be willing to sit on the same side of the table with your employee as opposed to face to face. We want to be in the same team, not in opposition.

In conclusion, before giving feedback to your employees, make sure to answer the following questions:
Am I willing to look at the problem side by side with my team members?

Can I recognize the strengths of my collaborator, and understand how to use them to address the challenges ahead?

Am I willing to listen, ask questions, and accept that it may be that I do not understand the full extent of the problem?

Am I willing to recognize that my colleague is right, instead of picking on each of his mistakes?

Can I keep my attributable collaborator of its results without blaming or go in shame?

Am I prepared to acknowledge and thank the efforts of my employee?

Can I discuss how to solve these challenges in a way that will lead to growth and new opportunities?

Am I willing to be open and vulnerable?

Looking at these questions honestly, you’ll know if you’re ready for your meeting. This way you can get your message as a Manager or Entreprenor without humiliating, demolishing your employee.

I would add, based on my personal experience, that the difficult conversations build relationships of trust. I am in very good terms with all the Managers I was able to have difficult conversations with.

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