So if you wanna address some of those feelings, driving quiet, quitting great resignation, low engagement, then we have to be giving more specific positive feedback regularly. And this doesn't mean giving out participation awards. No. It means finding opportunities to name specific things that are going well.
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Welcome back to the show. Today we are talking about feedback, and I promised we'd be talking about feedback a lot.
I know I said that because feedback is one of the hardest things to deal with as a manager. But I also said we would talk about feedback because it's not only bad feedback, includes all of the good stuff, all of the recognition, all of the sharing people, what people are doing well, all of the reinforcing the behaviors we wanna see.
Today we are going to talk all about positive feedback, how to deliver this effectively, but first, how to reframe this fear, this perception that feedback is only bad because we've all been there. When someone says the words, can I give you some feedback, our stomach turns. It's the workplace equivalent of someone we just started dating saying, Hey, can we talk?
And we want to avoid that. Well, we don't want our team members to avoid feedback because feedback is the information that we need to understand what we're doing well, what we can do differently, the information we need to be able to achieve our career goals. Feedback has this baggage around it that makes it really, really scary.
A few years ago when I was leaving a team to move to another role, the manager I was working with said, Hey, before you go, can we have a feedback conversation? And I thought to myself, why the hell would I have a feedback conversation when I'm already leaving? Does this person wanna tell me all the stuff that I did wrong?
Like I was terrified? It was something I was dreading. I tried to reschedule it. I rescheduled it twice, but they still put it back on the calendar. And when we got to that conversation, he shared stuff that he was really proud that I had accomplished, that he wanted me to take with me to the next role.
And it hit me, oh my gosh. I am like totally, totally in deep in this belief that feedback is bad. And when I'm managing people, I need to make sure that I am not putting this belief onto them. Now, how do we do this? Well, we have to demystify feedback. We have to talk about feedback a lot more positively than we do negatively.
We have to say, Hey, I wanted to give you some great feedback about that thing you just did. Hey, I have some exciting feedback for you from our vp. Hey, I wanted to share some great feedback that our client had about your work. When we talk about feedback with a positive word, we're going to start retraining our team members' minds.
That feedback's not just the bad stuff, it's not just critical, and this is going to help them become excited about feedback. Receptive to feedback and more open to feedback can be both constructive, both positive, and we're all good with that. Feedback is just information about how we're being. It's a data point.
It's not good or bad. It's based on that other person, the feedback givers, beliefs, what their preferences are. So that's another thing we can get thrashed every time we hear a piece of feedback. If we believe that it's the ultimate end all be all, as opposed to something to take in, to examine, to weigh, and then decide how to move forward with.
But positive feedback isn't just telling someone good. And I think this is one of the things that managers get wrong so often is telling someone thank you or good job and dropping the mic is not enough. I have no idea what part of the job I did when I'm at work. And you said, good job. Like is it that I showed up today, attended the meeting, delivered this huge project, whatever I, I have no idea.
When we just tell people, good job and nothing specific, and then we expect them to feel motivated, we're missing a huge opportunity to help them understand exactly what they did so they can reproduce that behavior. And that's the first thing I wanna share today is to be specific. When delivering positive feedback, we wanna be specific.
I love the framework S B I situation behavior impact because it forces us to be specific. We have to say the situation. For example, in the meeting this morning, we have to say a behavior, what they did. You saw the client was uneasy about the proposal and jumped in empathetically to address their concerns.
Ooh, specific behavior that I did and the impact, and as a result, we landed the contract. The client felt really excited to move forward working with. Wow. Okay, so I see now that the way that I communicated in that meeting resulted in this great thing for our team. Now I know exactly what behavior to reinforce for next time.
If my manager had just said, good job in that meeting, I have no idea what it was about. Was it the presentation design? You like the slides, the muffins I brought real tasty. I mean, I have no idea if you don't tell me. We have to be specific now when we're specific. This allows us to do the next thing that helps us land positive feedback effectively connecting it to a goal that that team member has.
Using the same example, let's say I'm really working on my client relationship. And you just saw me nail that in a meeting saying to me, Hey, I know you've been really working on this area around your client relationship skills, and in that last meeting I saw you do something awesome and I wanted to share some feedback.
The way that you jumped in to address the client's concerns. This allowed us to land that contract. When you connect the dots, now I'm seeing wow. You not only gave me this great feedback, you understand the areas that I'm working. You notice that I'm really trying and have made some great strides in that area.
One more thing we can do that can really dial up the effectiveness of our positive feedback is to use the coaching skill. Acknowledgement. Acknowledgement means we are naming the quality we see in a person and listen to how much more impact it has when we use this skill. Example one without acknow. I think you're really good at relationship building.
Yeah. You did a great job there. Womp womp. Yeah, I, I mean, I appreciate my manager thinks that, but how much more empowering would it be if they acknowledge that I am this? Let's take a look. Example two. Wow, you are a relationship builder. The way you used that skill and the meeting transform the client experience, and now we're in such a better place with the client.
Acknowledgement is such a powerful skill because so few of us do it. How many of us use this qualifier? I think before kind of anything we say, I think a lot of us do, right? And what happens here is we lose the punch when we acknowledge people and say, you are this. We're showing them that we see something in themselves that maybe they don't even see.
It's empowering. It's inspiring, and it's so, so important for someone to really step into that role and that quality. That's why it's so important for positive feedback because. Positive feedback is all about reinforcing the behaviors that we want to see more of. And before we wrap, I wanna make sure we're seeing the connection between positive feedback and motivation and engagement on our teams.
Because right now there is a ton of data out there from Gallup and other organizations sharing that engagement is low, it's on the decline, so we have to do something about it. And this is showing up in those employee engagement. Survey data is down. Recognition is one of the biggest issues that people are pointing out, and in the focus groups that I host with companies to dive more into this, I'm seeing that a major source of this frustration is around a lack of that positive feedback, a lack of that specific feedback that's connected to our career goals that shows us, yes, I'm on track, I'm doing what I need to be doing and my work matters.
One major way we can improve employee engagement and motivation is showing people, you are doing a good job. You are. I appreciate you. I recognize you. There are things that you are doing well that I wanna see more of. This is going to fuel that sense of I see my place on the team, because if we never hear what's going right, a lot of times we make assumptions that nothing must be going right, or I'm always being picked apart, or nothing's ever good enough for my manager or my manager's.
One of those people that doesn't give as right. Everything's always not quite good. These kinds of things chip away our motivation because we feel like, well, if I never can be good enough, why even bother? So if you wanna address some of those feelings, driving quiet, quitting great resignation, low engagement, then we have to be giving more specific positive feedback regularly.
This doesn't mean giving out participation awards. No. It means finding opportunities to name specific things that are going well, and most importantly of all, we reduce that dread around feedback. We have effectively reframed it and rebranded it. I think about how less stressed for so many days and weeks even, I would've been about that feedback conversation.
If I remembered that feedback is information, it's not all bad, it's not criticism, and when a manager wanted to have a feedback conversation, I could have thought about, well, we had a great relationship. There was awesome things that we created together. I knew I was doing a good job, so why would I be afraid of the word feedback?
It was because of this perception. And the more we demystify it, the more people want to hear feedback, they wanna share it with us. We create safety and feedback. We create safety, making mistakes, all good things that create effective teams. So make that feedback specific, connect it to a career goal someone has, and use the skill of acknowledgement and watch that perception of feedback start to.
And if you still have questions about how to do this, how to apply this, how to balance positive and constructive feedback on your team, text the word MANAGER to 4 1 5 2 3 4 5 7 1 6. This goes right to me. I will answer all your questions about feedback and anything else that's on your mind around managing, and you'll get on the list for exclusive events like my upcoming Q and as.
Text the word manager to 4 1 5 2 3 4 5 7 1 6 to get on that list. See you next time.
That's all I have for today. Thank you so much for tuning in to the Managing Made Simple Podcast where my goal is to demystify the job of people management so that together we can make the workplace somewhere everyone can thrive.
I always love to hear from you, so please reach out at liagarvin.com or message me on LinkedIn. See you next time.