Some years ago I came to the end of, what I had thought, was a pretty good performance feedback session with one of my staff. I asked the staff member what he had thought of the session. He said
It was OK, but I’m not sure I’m much clearer on what you really think about my work
When I spoke to my manager about what the staff member had said he replied
I think you just need to work on being a bit more candid
I guess what had happened is that I had spent so much time trying to give feedback that was inoffensive, affirming and non confrontational that I ended up giving feedback that was more ‘Candied’ (definition: ‘Preserve (fruit) by coating and impregnating it with sugar’) than ‘Candid’ (definition: ‘Truthful and straight forward; frank’)
The problem with candied performance feedback
I guess my example illustrates the problem. In an attempt to keep things sweet between my staff member and myself I had given him performance feedback that was virtually useless. I had sugar coated the negative feedback so much that he was left totally perplexed by what I had said. And it seems I’m not alone
In a really neat blog by Kyle Lagunas ‘A Generation Y Perspective on Performance Reviews’ he says (in relation to performance feedback):
‘Lose the cream filling and challenge us to succeed’
Kyle points out that honesty and ‘tough love’ are what help improve performance, and satisfaction
So, whether it’s sugar or cream that you are using in your performance feedback sessions, ask yourself
• Are your staff getting the clarity they need to help them improve their performance?
So, how do we give performance feedback that’s truthful and straightforward?
Take a look at the ‘ARC’ model I describe here in my article on artful performance feedback – no room here for cream filling!
Performance Feedback: Do you or the managers in your business need help?
In my video ‘Motivating Your Staff to Improve Their Performance with Positive Criticism’ I teach managers how to give constructive criticism to their staff in a way that the staff member finds easy to understand and easy to accept and which significantly improves staff performance. Find out how to watch a FREE preview session from the video HERE
Or, if you’d prefer to read more, take a look at my e-book HERE