When We Don’t Give Feedback
I was working with a client on hiring best practices two weeks ago, who shared with me how they lost one of their best people. She was working in a corporate environment at the executive level. They described her as the kind of person you hire and then figure out what to do with them. No matter which position she was slotted into, or was created for her, she excelled.
Suddenly one day she handed in her resignation. They were surprised and shocked. “You’re one of our best people. We want you to keep working here. You’re going to be hard to replace.”, they told her.
She said, “I wish somebody had told me. That’s the first time I’d heard I was doing a good job, but now I’ve accepted another position. Sorry.”
When was the last time you told your best worker they were doing a good job?
When We Give Feedback
What about the last time you offered advice that somebody genuinely listened to you? When somebody accepted what you had to say, or even just tried what you suggested? For me that’s the part I enjoy most about my job. When a clients come back and tells me that they tried that different approach and it works! It makes smile because they often seem so surprised. It’s even more gratifying when it has a big impact on somebody’s life, lets them do well, or helps their company grow.
We Owe Feedback
Managers and leaders owe the people working for us guidance on how well they’re doing. People can’t do better if they don’t know how well they’re doing now. They’re less likely to keep doing the right things if nobody tells them. Top performers, the kind of people whom we dream of working for or with us push us to do better. They expect and demand to know how well they’re doing. They want to be measured, they want to see progress, and they want to keep doing better.
Like a high-performance athlete they are competitive. Like any high-performance athlete they have a coach. They can’t succeed without realistic, timely, specific observations of their performance. If they don’t get it where they are now, they tend to move on to somewhere else where they can.
They are on the path of continually learning and improvement. They listen to what others have to tell them so they can become masters of their craft. Even when it’s hard to listen. Especially when it’s hard to listen.
Which path are you on? Do you receive and evaluate feedback gracefully? Do you have a hard time giving feedback because you have a hard time receiving it?