A Pre-Feedback Worksheet: From Finding Fault to Useful Feedback
Fault-finding is an island of security for incompetent leaders. But, feedback launches into the deep.
- Weak leaders feel powerful.
- Dumb leaders feel smart.
- Unworthy leaders feel deserving.
- Small leaders feel big.
- Insecure leaders feel safe.
Fault-finding is a base form of intelligence.
A pre-feedback worksheet – from finding fault to useful feedback:
Create the feedback mindset with a pre-feedback worksheet.
Write the recipient’s name on the top of a sheet of paper. Yes, use pen and paper. Writing is thinking.
#1. List the praiseworthy qualities and behaviors of the person about to receive feedback.
- They arrive on time.
- They’re pleasant to be around.
- They’re great at … .
- When you hired them, you saw … .
- They’ve learned how to … .
#2. Imagine the future of the feedback recipient. What happens if the negative behavior continues?
#3. Record at least three ways feedback might benefit the recipient?
#4. List at least three things you don’t want to do during the feedback conversation. For example:
- Attack the person.
- Use “always” or “never”.
#5. List at least five things you want to do during the feedback conversation. For example:
- Express confidence.
- Show respect.
- Stay open to options for the path forward.
- Provide support.
*Determine how you will do the things on your list.
Commit to helping others succeed or you’ll end up disliking your team.
Fault-finding or feedback:
Angry feedback is interpreted as fault-finding. Feedback isn’t venting or therapy for the giver.
Any feedback that begins with, “I have to get something off my chest,” misses the point.
Fault-finders look through the wrong end of the telescope when reflecting on themselves and the right end when looking at others.
Fault-finders circle darkness. Feedback presses for light. Useful feedback rallies for improvement.
Fault-finders lack passion for growth. Feedback includes commitment to support. Never give feedback unless you’re committed to the recipient’s success.
What suggestions do you have for a pre-feedback worksheet?
What’s the difference between finding fault and giving feedback?
Nice rubric for a performance discussion!
Thanks Gerry. I like the word, “rubric”. Words have a funny way of morphing in my head. It made me think of rubric’s cube. 😉 (Perhaps Mr. Rubic would be offended.)
What are the consequences of the person’s current behavior related to both the task and relationships with others? .
How does his/her current behavior impact customers? co-workers? team memebers?
Does the person see the connects betweenhis/her behaviors and the results it produces?
Are they able and willing to change?
Thanks Paul. Brilliant!! I hope this post results in a robust pre-feedback worksheet. Your questions are a must.
Giving feedback is being supportive, respectful, being positive, being constructive and making suggestions as to how to address the problem. Understanding that it may take a little time to “fix” the behavior or problem. Feedback is being committed to growth and opportunity.
Finding fault is finger pointing, punitive and demeaning usually interpreted as criticism, describing what is wrong and offering no suggestion about how to resolve. Finding fault is showing lack of respect.
Kudos for a great topic today!
Thanks Wanda. Your descriptions are helpful. The lack of forward-facing suggestions/movement seems to be a core difference between finding fault and feedback.
I appreciate the weak leaders follow the fault finding methods for performance appraisal. Hence, they create culture of suffocation. They choke the energy and create unhealthy culture. We need to understand that in feedback there are merits and demerits of employees. And effective way is to create energy in the process. One way is asking suggestions in the areas of concern. For example, what do you suggest your colleagues to improve in XYZ areas? This will reflect the reasons why someone could not perform.
Finding faulty is energy sucking activity whereas giving feedback is energy generating activity. Leaders must generate positive energy in the environment. Once it is done, things will automatically move into right direction. The point is employees should feel respected. This helps them to own and perform their responsibilities without reminding them.
Dear Dr. Gupta,
Love the idea that feedback is an energy generating activity. I can see some cases where the energy might go down at the beginning. But, any feedback that drains energy is ineffective. We need energy to get things done.
The more energized we are the more likely we’ll move forward.
I continue to be aware of how damaging it is to drain people’s energy.
There are a lot of work sheets out there for doing feed back or confrontation. So what is the difference between giving feedback and confrontation. You are confronting a employee about something right? I try to match good and negative feedback one on one. The boss should be able to call you in to talk about how good you are doing as well.
Thanks Walt. I was surprised to see your comment about a lot of worksheets out there. I went out for a look myself. You’re right.
This post is more about preparing for to give feedback. There may be an opportunity to develop a pre-feedback worksheet.
I find giving feedback often falls in the same category as controlled confrontation. Maybe I use the word confrontation in a different way then most people. Feedback is often a request to change a behavior unless you are planning it to be a one way conversation?
Thanks for adding your insights, Walt. Much appreciated.
Instill a passion for learning (in those not already so inclined) and a discipline of civil (well mannered & relevant) & direct (concise, precise & accurate) communication,
And the rest is mutually transparent …
“Here’s what I’ve learned (in my experience with you),” and …
“What do you think (needs to change)?”
… merely a process of mutually respectful dialogue (exploration, not dictation).
For the worksheet/rubric- Based on what you know about the person, how might they receive the feedback? What are their strongest emotional needs (i.e. need to be in control, need to feel valued, need to be recognized, need to be heard, etc.) and how might you meet those needs in the course of the conversation?