Face the Feedback…2

People-development converts payroll costs to asset-investment

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Post 2: Conversations around breakfast centered on accepting realities like the perceptions of others, creating the reality you’re operating in, and other opportunities good leaders must face, as Caleb and his mother, Josie, moved into strategy-mode to help him address the feedback he’d just received.

“I agree that the perspectives of your respondents is important,” Josie said, “But let’s start with the perspective they were using when they first answered the questions. No more looking at the numbers until you tell me how the questions were phrased and positioned to your team.” You check that out while I clear the table.

“Why didn’t I see that before?” Caleb called into the kitchen. “The mid-range numbers reflect behavior that they label as ‘acceptable and consistent,’ and the high numbers are described more like ‘walk on water perfect’! None of my numbers were below mid-range. We all know I’m new to this; it’s probably stupid to expect to do everything perfect yet. Okay, Mom; good reality check.”

Josie smiled as she sat back down, “Now that your psyche is in better balance, I’d suggest you go through & mark the areas that really do concern you and categorize them a bit. Maybe note first the things that you know you can and should do differently or more consistently in order to reach your leadership goals. The perspectives you see from your team should guide your priority in those areas.”

“Then look at the surprise and disappointment areas through a few different lenses. Are these behaviors important standards that people should realistically expect you to meet? If so, prioritize them. Ask yourself, if you were ‘walking-on-water’ in the application of that skill, what impact would it have on the business results at your level of leadership? I’m not trying to let you off the hook, Caleb, but these same questions are used for many levels and roles of the organization, and some behaviors are critical to your team and some are just nice to have – but not expected in your current position. So sometimes it is not a surprise that your team said they don’t see you use them, because they shouldn’t necessarily see you using them consistently.

“When you’ve identified the critical perspectives you feel are lower than you like, take an honest look at them. Did you know already you needed to work on this… in your gut? What will you gain if you change this perspective? Is this view held by most of your team – or just a harmful handful? From questions like this, narrow the few behaviors you really want to tackle now, and put the others on a wait list.”

“Okay, okay! I get the picture,” Caleb laughed and grabbed a couple of highlighters. “Don’t you have something else to do for a little while? I’ll call you when I’ve made some progress.”

Reality: How to give feedback is typically included in leadership development trainings. How to receive and act on the feedback given is not so commonly trained, but it can be critically important to how employees hear, believe and follow their leaders.

FOLLOW US & don’t miss the next PEPPERBOX blog Caleb will need to make a plan to change some behaviors. Will he be overwhelmed again by the need to be perfect in these new endeavors?

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