This is a reprint of one of my posts inspired by Cheryl Sandberg Lean in. I felt inspired to share it again, in case you (or someone you love) might be stuck in a form of behavior that is not serving them right now.
B Lean in, Cheryl Sandberg discusses how important feedback has been to her career. She understood, for example, how important her relationship with Mark Zuckerberg was to her work on Facebook, so she asked them to sit down every week to talk about anything that bothered him so they could settle it quickly, face to face. Zuckerberg agreed, insisting that the feedback be reciprocal. They continued the weekly meetings for quite some time before transmitting the feedback in real time – only telling each other when they had a problem that required discussion.
In my experience, it is rare to find people who are willing to risk being so open with each other. “Feedback” is defamatory of many things, but almost never of anything positive. If you have something good to say, you never precede it with “Do you mind if I give you feedback?”
We avoid telling each other harsh truths for many reasons. Conflict is uncomfortable for most of us, and conveying unpleasant feedback is difficult at the moment and creates ongoing tension in the relationship afterwards. It is not surprising that we avoid this whenever possible. Here are some other reasons I may refrain from giving feedback.
- The connection is not so important to me. I can more easily shake off the behavior of someone I only see occasionally, or that deepening trust and respect with him is not essential to me. I’d rather give it up than start a conversation that risks exacerbating the relationship. Sometimes we call it “being the bigger person”, but I think it’s often based on fear rather than courage.
- After judgment, I think it’s best to tell someone how I feel. In the heat of the moment, someone’s words or actions may seem bigger (and worse) than they seem after a good night’s sleep. Sometimes, I even realize that maybe I should be the one to apologize or explain my behavior.
- I have not yet asked permission to give feedback. Sandberg writes that one of her personal shortcomings is an extreme impatience for delays. According to her, one staff member can know in her voice when she calls whether he should bother to perform a task or whether she is about to perform it herself.
Sandberg says being the boss can put you in a difficult position; You may be driving people crazy, but no one has the guts to tell you that. If you are in this situation, here is my formula for training, and it can work in both directions: boss to team or staff to boss.
After an event where your behavior (again!) Caused a tense situation to worsen (again!) And created a bad result (again!), You can take some quiet time talking about it when everyone has cooled down. “I understand I did (again the thing that drives everyone crazy.) First, I apologize – my behavior made it difficult for us to do what we had to do. Second, I ask you to tell me when I will start doing it again. Remind me a moment, before I start, So I can curb it. “
Sandberg writes a great script for it: “Cheryl, you asked us to remind you when you’re nervous and you started pushing the teams too hard. I think you’re doing it now.” This speech has it all: he reminds the boss (or employee) that she asked for feedback; It is specific to what is happening at that moment; And he sets the case softly enough to be heard: “I think you’re doing it now.”
This real-time feedback can save a situation, but it works best if the parties agree in advance. So find a quiet moment after the crisis, where everyone will be calmer, and set the invitation to talk openly about what did not work. Repeat if necessary; Remember that very few people have the courage to get honest feedback, even if they asked for it. Your constant patience and acceptance when people really tell you what they think will pay off during the next crisis.
Candice’s background includes human resources, recruitment, training and evaluation. She spent several years at a nationwide staffing company, serving employers at both beaches. Her writing on business, career and employment has appeared in the Florida Times Union, the Jacksonville Business Journal, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and 904 Magazine, as well as several national publications and websites. Candice is often quoted in the media on local labor market and employment issues.
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