“You’ll never get to the next level in this company,” an exec told one his managers, “because you can’t take an abstract idea and turn it into a business model.”

Have you ever gotten feedback like this?  Or given it?

It’s time for the annual performance review.  Bosses and employees are about to say and hear a lot of crazy stuff.

The manager above was baffled.  A year later, when I ran into him, he was still baffled.  “What do you think that feedback means?” he asked me.

“It means that your boss talks in code,” I said.  “It could also mean, ‘Stop asking me so many questions every time I give you a project.  I’d rather be abstract and not spell out every detail.’”

Feedback is no time for abstraction. We need clarity:

For example, which feedback is better?

A) Melanie is unprofessional.

B) Melanie spits on customers.

Either way, Melanie will probably not be getting to the next level.  But “A” is too vague – it could mean a thousand different things.  “B” hits the mark.

Tip:  When you give feedback, talk in specifics.  And when you receive feedback, ask for specifics.  And if you’re spitting on customers, please stop.

© Copyright 2018 Paul Hellman.  All rights reserved.

P.S. BULLETPROOF FEEDBACK—available in workshop or webinar format—is for organizations that want to improve the skill of managers/employees to give/receive feedback. 

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