I work for a large, corporate publisher, where I was a production manager for almost a decade, and now I’m starting my second year as a director. Ever since my first day of management over a 10 years ago, I have faced the same problems in my career.
A colleague of mine suggested I reach out to you and see if my issue could go in one of your “Dear Suzanne” posts. I’ve got increasingly more pressure to increase productivity in my department, so I hope you can help me out.
When I give feedback to my team, I usually experience resentment and even an effort by the employee to slow play the changes. -At least that’s how it feels on my end. What am I doing wrong? As the manager, it’s up to me to give direction, but I have a gaggle of unruly geese to control, and it’s not working.
Rest assured, you are not alone, and I receive a couple of emails every week with some version of this problem. Basically, “How can I manage performance when no one will accept my feedback?”
Here is a simple, practical way to give feedback that will be well-received and solve your productivity (and teamwork!) problems.
- Position the discussion by making an I-Statement that lest the person know of your concern and introduces what the discussion will be about. This helps you get right to the point.
- Acknowledge intentions by letting your team member know that you recognize they have good intentions. This is the best way to disarm an otherwise defensive situation.
- Describe the behavior or result in specific terms. This lets the employee know exactly what it is that you are concerned about.
- Describe the impact (consequences) of their the behavior. This helps create a sense of responsibility. Let them know that their work makes a difference and that it has an impact on the work of others or on the business as a whole. This gives them motivation to correct the problem.
Please write back and let us know how your next feedback opportunity turns out!