The Challenge of Feedback

I just finished Thanks for the Feedback. I cannot say enough good things about it. Put on your to-be-read pile. I picked three ideas and my next steps.

  • When feedback is given, the receiver sorts into three categories, appreciation, coaching, and evaluation. I realized that I receive most feedback as evaluation. It triggers an identity block which does not allow me to action on the feedback. I need to focus on the feedback as coaching and ask what is one thing I can concentrate on.
  • Bosses think they show appreciation, but employees do not feel they are appreciated. I think it is because we mix appreciation in with coaching and evaluation. I guarantee that I have said, “Thanks for ___ and have you considered ___?” I need to completely separate my appreciation feedback from any other. It gets drowned out by the other two forms.
  • No performance system is perfect. I think about all of the teacher evaluation systems. They have been charged with so much. They should weed out poor performing teachers, identify areas of growth for teachers, reward excellent teachers, and communicate what best practice is in teaching. I am sure you can add other tasks as well. Unfortunately, this is using a hammer to complete all of your home improvement needs. A change in the system requires each of us to advocate for a system that has fewer tasks assigned to it.





2 thoughts on “The Challenge of Feedback

  1. Wow, I really think you hit the nail on the head with your second takeaway – the reason that attempts at appreciation often seem hollow or empty to me is that they always seem paired with asking me to do something that the boss knows I don’t want to do / is shouldering a responsibility that someone else should have! But when I get appreciation separate from other things, all by itself, I feel great about it and it feels genuine!
    Will definitely have to put this one on my to-read list!


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