The Value of Timely Performance Feedback
Everyone appreciates performance feedback – the timelier, the better.
Leaders who provide feedback in a constructive manner develop others and foster a positive environment that instills loyalty. In doing so, they also foster an attitude that will lead to improved performance.
Coaching and developing others is a critical part of leadership. Since performance feedback is a critical aspect of an employee development plan, how a leader relates with others determines the level of effort they will get from their team.
One Minute Manager
In the One Minute Manager, Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson present a method to achieve desired results. It starts with setting performance goals.
The key is providing immediate feedback, which they break down into:
- One-Minute Goals
- One-Minute Praisings, and
- One-Minute Reprimands
Positive Feedback, Positive Results
Imagine applying these “One Minute” concepts to youth basketball, specifically when teaching a player how to dribble a basketball.
First, goal setting is informing the player the basics of dribbling, such as maintaining a proper stance, bouncing the ball with her fingertips, and keeping her head up in order to see the entire court.
Next, you would demonstrate proper behavior and let the player try. Typically, they will do a great job in one or two areas, but fail to get all three parts correct.
For example, if a player does a great job with stance and dribbling but makes the common mistake of looking at the ball, you might provide feedback on that behavior with:
- “Good balance, nice dribble, now keep your head up,”
They’ll adjust and make the necessary correction, but some will lose focus on one of the other requirements, so you might follow with:
- “Nice dribble, head up, now keep your balance.”
After enough repetitions, young players begin to piece it all together. Catch them “doing something right” and you will get the performance you desire.
The Value of Performance Feedback
Leaders who provide positive feedback give the employee an opportunity to make adjustments, ultimately providing them a sense of security.
Immediate feedback is critical when we don’t know what we don’t know, especially when we are learning.
Equally important are the attitude of the recipient and the individual providing the critique.
A good mentor will provide positive encouragement because they want to convey their genuine interest. When employees feel leadership has their best interest at heart, they are inclined to make corrections and more likely to modify their behavior.
Most people want to perform well and they want to know when they are doing something incorrectly. They want constructive feedback, and they appreciate criticism when it is presented in a positive manner.
Employee goal setting becomes much easier when you provide positive, reinforcing feedback. The more constructive, the better!
Tom Crea is a leadership expert, decorated career Army Officer, and Blackhawk Helicopter pilot. Because of his proven skills, he was hand selected to run the Army’s leadership development program at two Boston colleges, where he and his team transformed college students into combat leaders.
Tom has a B.S. & M.C.S. in Computer Science and a M.A. in Political Science and loves coaching basketball and spending time with his wife and two boys.
Creating a Culture:
Tom’s proudest leadership moment came when his unit was called to war in Iraq after he had rotated out. His replacement was not able to perform, so members he developed stepped up to lead; they attribute their success to the leadership Tom instilled in each of them. Today, the Blackhawk leadership way.