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Does it make sense to adjust the way you approach feedback depending on the severity of the issue/event you're wanting to address? For example, if someone arrives late to work a couple of times for their time-sensitive shiftwork would you react with more speed (and force possibly) than if there weren't any strict conditions like this? If something they do violates a highly valued corporate standard does it warrant a firmer, faster, stronger feedback or do you, as Mark suggests in his casts, treat the first few times with an even-keeled, almost nonchalant approach regardless of the situation?

Would love to hear what everyone else thinks about this as it is one thing I continue to struggle with.

Mark's picture

I'll wait to weigh in.

Mark

jwyckoff's picture

[quote="stuartw"]Does it make sense to adjust the way you approach feedback depending on the severity of the issue/event you're wanting to address?

Would love to hear what everyone else thinks about this as it is one thing I continue to struggle with.[/quote]

You should always give feedback on either a) behavior you would like to see continued, or b) behavior you would like changed.

If you don't care about someone's behavior, then don't give feedback on it. If you do care, then give feedback. Regardless if you just "sort-of" care or "REALLY REALLY" care, you would give the same even keeled feedback. Your "this is what happens" might have more hefty examples when you really care about the feedback, but that would be the only difference.

My two cents.

juliahhavener's picture

I don't think I'd change how I initially handle feedback. The first time should still be a 'hey, you should be aware' kind of feedback. Now, I say that, and I'm assume it's not an ethics issue or a terminable offense that is one of those items heavily covered during their orientation period.

You might escalate it quicker, but if they're late for work, it should still start with 'when you're late for work, we worry about you, things don't get done, etc.' You might start on the second one with some of the 'big' consequences. But the point isn't to use a jackhammer to fix a picture hanger and it's separate from all your typical company displinary procedures, so you should have the time to address it directly and without making it a confrontational event.

stuartw's picture

I should have seen those responses coming a mile off but absolutely spot on! I totally agree with you but I do struggle with remaining nonchalant about an issue that the employee [u]does[/u] know is important and choses to consistently demonstrate a lack of commitment that I expect.

I guess this feedback thing just doesn't come naturally to me. Oh well, practice makes perfect I guess...time to get the nose back to the grindstone.

juliahhavener's picture

[quote]I guess this feedback thing just doesn't come naturally to me. [/quote]

Ohhh, I so agree. I think it's funny because one of the things I consistently hear I do well is *take* feedback. But I really have found that if I work at it, and try to consistently do it, and I try extra-hard to give as much positive as I do adjusting, it's gotten easier. I find myself thinking 'I wonder if I can give this person feedback' in so many situations that aren't work-related now. I've found feedback works wonders in a number of off-the-wall situations.

Mark's picture

Thanks for the candor here - I love it, and think that you have thousands of comrades (including me).

And...why does everyone assume that giving feedback "should" be natural?

If we inspected raw materials the "natural" way, we'd not have non-destructive testing, and accept a lot of garbage.

If we interviewed "naturally", we'd just have a little chat and make offers.

If we designed things the "easy" way, we wouldn't have CAD systems, and wouldn't use calipers, and we sure wouldn't have integrated circuits.

If we delivered products in ways that felt natural, we'd never have gotten to "absolutely, positively has to be there overnight".

Feedback certainly wasn't natural for me in the beginning (but I could SURE tell it worked like magic), and there are days when it's still not. But I do it... because I don't get paid to do the natural thing. I get paid to be effective.

And effective is harder.

Management is not about ease. It's about effectiveness.

All things worth doing release their joys only to those who are willing to gnaw at them a little.

Mark

stuartw's picture

What a perfect response as always Mark! I should pin this on the wall in my office as a constant reminder....."You don't get paid to feel comfortable, you get paid to be effective".

juliahhavener's picture

I feel a motivational poster coming on.

Mark's picture

HA! Thank you both. I got done writing that one, and said, "huh!" And decided to 'promote' it to the main blog. It will come out later this week.

Every once in a while, the universe clicks into place.

Mark