“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.’”
Another boss might have said, “I need you to take the ball and run with it.” But that’s not so clear either. Which ball? Run where? What if you’re so out of shape you can barely make it up a flight of stairs?
Feedback is no time for abstraction. We need razor-sharp clarity.
Whether you’ve giving or getting feedback, you should easily see the desired behavior, without any fog.
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, use examples. And when you receive feedback, ask for specifics, ask for examples.
Also, if you’re spitting on customers, please stop.
P.S. Maximize your impact x 3:
1) Bulletproof Feedback—workshop or webinar: Learn how to give & get feedback that improves performance. For this & other programs, please click here.
2) The Power of Presence, Inside & Out: Boston workshop, 9-12:30 p.m. December 13. Learn 10 critical actions that drive how you’re perceived, plus how to manage yourself & increase your confidence. Sign up now!
3) You’ve Got 8 Seconds, my latest book, the #1 (or #2) Amazon Best Seller in business communication for 6 months (kindle edition). Also in print and audio.
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PAUL HELLMAN consults & speaks internationally on how to make your point—fast, focused, powerful. For more info: please call 508-879-0934, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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