Archives For Feedback

I LOVE springtime and summer because I can spend hours in my garden making things grow. This year I took it up a notch by adding two new garden areas in my back yard. In addition to my English-style garden with  five sections of flowers, I dug out a large area in a corner next to the house and deck. 

GROW model of giving feedback

After clearing the grass I planted three raised beds along with three large whiskey barrel planters filled with a variety of vegetables and herbs. I also added blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries on the other side of the deck. It’s so fun to watch everything grow!

Maybe that’s why I like the GROW Model for giving feedback so much! (If you missed it, you can find the first post on Feedback as FeedFORWARD here. And be sure to sign up for future updates on the sidebar!)

Feedback as Feed-FORWARD is all about growth. Rather than focusing on what’s wrong with an employee’s performance the goal is to help them grow as persons and improve their performance for the better. It’s[……]

Continue reading…

So why give constructive feedback?  Constructive feedback is given when a behavior or action is ‘off track’ and you want to get it back ‘on track’.  Or you might need a higher level of performance than was achieved.  In one of my workshops I had a manager say that he wanted to learn how to ‘punish people properly’.  

Constructive Feedback

Ok… not what I was going for in a “Feed-FORWARD to Next Time” approach!

In constructive feedback we want them to hear you, buy in, and start a plan for how to change.  But how to do that? (To review the concept of Feedback As Feed-Forward and the purpose of giving feedback go here. And be sure not to miss any posts in the series by subscribing to my blog updates!)

The GROW Model

The best tool I’ve found is the GROW framework.  It creates a great flow of the conversation.  My thanks to John Whitmore and his book, Coaching for Performance.  (This is a ‘must read’ for anyone who wants to acquire a coaching style in managing the performance of others – Really!  B[……]

Continue reading…

Imagine a day where you received absolutely NO FEEDBACK.  Not really possible.  Your brain is constantly receiving feedback – feedback from your stomach (time for breakfast), feedback from your feet (this bathroom floor is cold!), feedback from your spouse (don’t forget to pick up Kristen after school today).


Your brain is a lover of feedback.  Without a feedback system you and your body couldn’t even complete the simplest task.  But even though we are wired to receive feedback, most leaders I meet struggle with the best way to give feedback.

My second blog series summarizes best practices in giving feedback.  As with the last series I’ll summarize the best tips and tools I’ve found on giving feedback.  Your job:  to practice and make these tools your own.

The Purpose of Giving Feedback

Answer the following question:  Why should you as a manager give feedback?

While you’re thinking about that… let me tell you a story of the worst feedback I ever got:

One company I wor[……]

Continue reading…

Oscar Time!

February 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

It’s Oscar time! Get out the tuxedos and gowns! Roll out the red carpet! The envelope, please. And the winner is . . . 

Oscar Time! Performance Reviews

So far in our series we’ve been discussing the basics of how to be successful in your first year as a manager. We’ve talked about setting clear objectives, what comprises SMA2RT goals, how to conduct one-on-ones, and now we come to the very useful management tool of the performance review.

As the year wraps to a close – your manager or HR will probably ask you to write a written summary for each employee’s annual performance.

Do I hear groaning?

Maybe you’re thinking of how stressful some your own performance reviews have been. But let me offer a suggestion to lesson the pain. If you look at performance reviews in a certain way you can make them very useful and effective in your leadership toolbox. 

Think of performance reviews as your own Annual Oscar Awards Ceremony! It’s your chance to highlight the achievements of your team members and focus on[……]

Continue reading…

Think (FIRST about INTENT) Before You Speak

Think before you speak.  Have you ever been told that?  It’s wise advice.  When I coach people about being more effective in their communication, I remind them to FIRST figure out what you are trying to accomplish through a conversation.  By establishing the INTENT of the conversation, the right words will form in your brain.  And if the right words form in your brain, it is more likely that the right words will come out of your mouth and the wrong words will not.  Simply put – Your communication mantra should be:  1st Mind (Intent), 2nd Body (Stance), 3rd Mouth (Words)

Businessman With Duct Tape On His MouthExample – Randy, please shut up and listen:  A manager I was coaching a couple of years back, asked me to follow him around for a day to see if I could figure out why people didn’t want to work with him – (that’s the polite way of saying… they thought he was a jerk).  So Randy and I went off to his first meeting.  I asked Randy:

CNM:  “So who called this meeting?”

RANDY:  “The director we are meeting with”

CNM:  “And what is the topic (INTENT) of this meeting?”

RANDY:  “I have no idea”

CNM – to myself:  “OK then, this is going to be good!”

Do you know what Randy did?  He sat down in the director’s office and started talking!  And TALKED… And TALKED… and TALKED…  For 20 minutes, he hijacked the conversation and did not let the director get a word in.  Finally, in frustration, the director said, “Randy! I asked you here today to discuss…”

CNM – to myself:  “Oh, thank goodness she finally stopped him!”


Continue reading…

Think… 5 to 1

clipart-thumbsup-kids3-150x150Sometimes I think I missed the really good stuff in graduate school. I received my degree in Industrial / Organizational Psychology before the Positive Psychology trend – or shall I say, sharp right turn – really took off. When I went to school, psychologists spent most of their time studying people who weren’t functioning well and then tried to apply the learning to the rest of us. The sharp turn happened when the simple idea was proposed that there is also a lot to be learned from studying successful, well-adjusted people. [Such a simple, yet profound idea]

A quote from on Positive Psychology

Unlike traditional psychology that focuses on deficits, disease, and dysfunction, positive psychology highlights human strengths and potential, and celebrates what is best in life. It emphasizes goals, well-being, satisfaction, happiness, interpersonal skills, perseverance, talent, wisdom, and personal responsibility. Positive psychology is concerned with understanding what makes life worth living, with helping people become more self-organizing and self-directed, and with recognizing that people and experiences are embedded in a social context.

Some GOOD STUFF on Feedback from Positive Psychology Research

When I teach Leader-Managers how to give effective feedback, I often ask them the question, “What ratio between Appreciative / Thank You Feedback TO Constructive / Something Needs to Change Feedback creates the most productive work environment possible?” Most of my Leader-Managers guess 2:1. I then ask, “So what actually happens in your work environment?” They answer, “It’s 1:1 if we’re lucky”. [Of course you know the real answer, because you’re reading this blog.


Continue reading…