Execute can not be pardoned

    Someone takes feedback as a gift. But, let's be honest - there are few such people. More often than not, comments addressed to themselves are perceived painfully, and both by the giving party and the receiving party. Under the cut, debriefing and personal experience on the stated topic and around it.

    I, as a team leader, used to not like performance review. For me it was just the opposite of the New Year, when everyone rejoices and says nice things to each other. Here it was necessary to gather all his will into a fist, to carefully consider the opening speech and tell each team member where his mistakes are and in what way he is good. I remember, I set up meetings with the staff one by one, in order to give all the feedback in a week and breathe easy.

    Very quickly, I realized that comments to my employees need to be communicated regularly, not only during this “high season”, and life has become much easier. However, there are still quite a large part of the people who are waiting for the coveted number and are afraid of him. And why? Just because someone does not know how to correctly issue feedback, and someone perceives it correctly.

    "Seryozha - well done"

    We are all used to seeing something bad in the first place. That is why, becoming a manager, we need to “reset” our settings: pay attention to the positive moments. Praise is a signpost where an employee needs to move on, why, why, and how. Remember that there are always two ways to remedy the situation: to work out the shortcomings or to strengthen the strong qualities. If you neglect the latter, you lose sight of the more pleasant and powerful methods of influence.

    For me, praising people has always been harder. Here we hired a great employee, trained and it works. Stable, without jambs, without problems ... and after some time it is already perceived as a given. And what is there to praise? It is necessary to praise. And there is always praise for anything.

    Most importantly, give positive feedback on specific examples. That is, it is not simple: “Vasya, you are such a good fellow!”, And “Vasya, you have written down the taske here - in general, well done, I have thought up and implemented it abruptly”. I recommend keeping a note ('Good Job'), in which you will write who and why well done. Just let it be at your fingertips.

    Do it sincerely, false praise is easily recognized. Find what the employee did good, and tell him in detail why it seems important to you (cool, interesting, unusual, etc.).

    I had an interesting case: I just became the team leader, we gradually got used to new roles and responsibilities, the work went well and steadily. Three months later, my engineers complained to the authorities that they were not praised enough. For me, it was a blatant shock: I read books about how to blame properly, and then praise!

    Then I set myself random notifications about praising someone (one week this week, another on the next, and so on in no particular order). As soon as I received the notification, I went and looked at what the engineer did a good week, and then shared the feedback. To this, as it turned out, also need to get used to.

    It was simple notifications that helped me realize the importance of positive feedback and understand how much praise is needed. I am already doing it “on the machine”: with someone “no news = good news”, someone needs to be commended - this, of course, will come with experience.


    Criticism is an important part of any process, no matter where you work and with whom. The feedback you receive through formal criticism can help get out of “your head.” Look at things from a different angle, make the right decisions, overcome obstacles and learn something new in your business.

    Two points are very important: firstly, to convey criticism correctly, and secondly, to perceive it constructively, and not as a personal insult. Let's see.

    The easiest way is not to criticize at all. Feedback should be primarily presented in the form of search and guiding questions in order to improve employee skills. That is, if you see that the neighbor on the desktop is doing something wrong, then attract his attention and start asking questions. To paraphrase Judy Reeves, who, in her book Writing Alone, Writing Together; A Guide for Writers and Writing Groups talks about the criticism of beginner writers, then we’ll get the following statement: “By giving feedback in the form of questions, you give a person the opportunity to express his reasoning, and not to protect them.”

    "Praise at all, scolded one by one"

    If you still need to bring negative feedback (within the same performance review), then follow the following rules:

    • If you need to hold an oral conversation, then smile at the beginning, set a positive attitude, watch your body language (no closed postures). Let me feel your goodwill. It is better to always give feedback orally, but if there is no such opportunity, try to achieve the same thing, within the limits of the printed text.
    • Put all your negative emotions aside so as not to trigger the protection. Do not suppress feelings at all - just set aside for a while, as they will disturb you. Tune in to a positive result and be internally confident that everything will go well.
    • When you proceed to the points of the comments, use the I-messages instead of the indicative sentences: instead of “you are wrong” - “I disagree”. So it is easier to avoid the accusatory tone and the transition to the individual.
    • Focus on the behavior / product / creation, and not on the features of the person himself. So you will save him from the feeling "I'm somehow wrong, go better from here, lie down."
    • Be as accurate and detailed as possible in describing the essence of what needs to be changed and improved. The more - the better, do not skimp on examples.
    • Give ready-made solutions, tips on the process, which you can immediately take and use, without any additional effort. If you are not ready, think up at least one, even if raw, discuss it with the employee.
    • Do not talk too much at once - no need to wait until the whole list has accumulated. Limit yourself to two or three points, discuss them, make sure the task is clear.
    • During the next meeting, ask how you are progressing, find out if there are any difficulties in applying the solution. Praise for the intermediate result and discuss the next steps.

    How to perceive feedback

    Honestly, I have never met a man who would easily and gladly treat criticism at any time. There are such situations in life when you do not expect criticism and it hurts a lot. And the question here is not how to “confidently go forward, no matter what,” but how to separate the personal from the professional, pull out something constructive and designate a development plan for yourself for the future.

    In the Mindset bookCarol Dweck describes two types of thinking: the so-called fixed mindset - the installation for the absence of changes and the growth mindset - the installation for personal growth. So, if you live with an installation that limits any changes, you live and see only what you are capable of today, and every time you receive critical feedback, you perceive it as a judgment about your personality.

    The type of thinking tuned to personal growth suggests that no matter where you are now, you can improve your position. If you believe in this, then whenever someone tells you: “Listen, this task could be implemented easier (more interesting / faster, etc.)” - you try to understand how it could be done differently. With this type of thinking, on the contrary, you want to get as much feedback from different people as possible, because you understand that this is the fastest way to learn and improve.

    Three years ago, when, within the framework of the same perf review, my boss marked growth points - I remember how I was outraged and moved to the depths of my soul. “How is it that it turns out that I am not a perfect team leader”? Now it's even funny to remember, because now every quarter I ask my Boss to say what I did well and what can be improved. This gives me a certain internal guideline, what to look for and where to develop further.

    Of course, there are engineers in my team who perceive feedback as a complaint, even if it is expressed in a very soft and tactful manner. What to do? Gradually change your thinking. Remember that it is not a problem, but a task, not a complaint - but a growth point. Speak it, ask questions, ask the employee himself: how he sees his development and how this or that can be improved.

    Well, good perf review to all of us this fall. I’m happy to answer all your questions and enjoy reading stories about your experience with feedback.

    ps Books that I think will be useful to read (on the subject and not only):

    1. Daniel Goleman "Emotional Intelligence"
    2. Robert Dilts "Language Focus"
    3. Ichak Adizes "Ideal Leader." Why they cannot become and what follows from this ”

    By the way, right now I need technical support engineers in my team. Description and conditions here .

    Come, it will be interesting!

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