Monday, September 14, 2015

How to Give Tough Feedback

Merrilyn Astin Tarlton gives these five suggestions:

1. First, get clear. In this case, let’s say your business problem is missed deadlines because this chatty fellow isn’t focused. Get this clear in your own mind before your conversation begins. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself having a conversation about whether or not he’s a goof-off, instead of working together to solve the problem of deadlines. The difference really matters.

2. Speak in the passive voice, not the active. Instead of “You are a poor writer,” go with “That report was poorly written.”

3. Make suggestions actionable. (Suggest ways to deal with the deficiency)

 4. Invite collaboration. [I]f you are interested in the young attorney growing in a way that justifies the investment you’ve already made in her, you must be willing to team with her to identify the best action to solve the performance issue.

5. Encourage the heart. It may sound trite, but in 1995 Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner conducted a study that found “performance was higher when people were led by individuals who gave more encouragement.”

You can read the full article here. The underlying message is help the person grow into a successful professional.


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