Hi All, 

I know someone at work who will always:

 - front and center themselves at a meeting. Even when they aren't chairing / main attendee

- When someone asks a question they will often repeat the question in their own words and then answer it based on what has already been said

- Jump in and answer a question when someone is already answering it


I see some of the above as inconsiderate behavior but when it comes to "repeating the question' and 'repeating the answer' in their own words ..... i don't know if this is good or bad behaviour?

mattpalmer's picture

One of the most powerful parts of the feedback model, for me, is the requirement that you describe the consequences of the behaviour.  If you cannot provide a meaningful consequence of the behaviour, then you shouldn't give feedback on it, because there isn't any reason to (because there is no reason to affirm or adjust the behaviour).  If you *can* think of a consequence, then that should tell you if the behaviour is "good" (should be affirmed) or "bad" (should be adjusted).

Even though I'm not in full-blown feedback delivery mode (yet... rollout in today's team meeting, all going to plan) I've been analysing things in terms of the feedback model ever since I learnt about it.  Looking at the things that I think "that's good" or "that's bad" in terms of "behaviour -> consequence" has stopped me from jumping on something irrelevant more than once.  Either "that's not a behaviour" or "I can't describe a consequence" puts the brakes on for me.

My advice to you is: think about the consequence.  It doesn't have to be an earth-shattering, history-changing consequence (I gave partial feedback to one of my team members that was "when you turn up late for work, it pisses me off" -- said with a smile on my face and a chuckle in my voice) but there does need to be a Newtonian-style "reaction" to the behaviour.  Just off the top of my head, your direct could be "wasting time", "duplicating effort", or "not letting other people have their say".  Just as easily, your direct could be "helping others to understand the problem by reframing the question", "providing leadership to the meeting", or "helping others to provide answers to the question posed".  Which of these is the case in each situation (I see at least three separate behaviours here, so you've got at least three different instances of feedback to give) is up to you as the manager to decide.

Gareth's picture

Wow, thank you. That's excellent advice... looking at the consequences of the behaviour is powerful!

This person isn't actually a direct and my aim was to understand if this behaviour was positive and therefore something I should adopt.

As you say there are three different behaviours listed above and on reflection I think:

 - front & centre at a meeting shows strong leadership as this was at a meeting on a topic the person was leading on (however an expert was there to give workshop)

 - in some cases repeating the question / answer does help some at the table. If the person was able to better judge when this was required it would cut out the no-value add wasting time.

 - the 'jumping in with answer' is a poor behaviour as it results in other people seeing you as rude and not valuing their answer


Huge help - thanks!




mattpalmer's picture

Sorry Gareth, I totally misinterpreted your question.  Luckily, I waffled enough that my answer was useful anyway.  <grin>