It is that time of year again when managers deliver annual performance reviews. Over my career, I've been shocked at how few managers have the leadership skill to properly deliver constructive criticism. This morning, I came across an interesting column by Tony Schwartz on hbr.org about mistakes we make in delivering criticism.
He makes the point that, in most cases, what we say is less important than how we say it.
Here's a question guaranteed to make your stomach lurch: “Would you mind if I gave you some feedback?”
What that actually means is “Would you mind if I gave you some negative feedback, wrapped in the guise of constructive criticism, whether or not you want it?”
The problem with criticism is that it challenges our sense of value. Criticism implies judgment and we all recoil from feeling judged. As Daniel Goleman has noted, threats to our esteem in the eyes of others are so potent they can literally feel like threats to our very survival.The conundrum is that feedback is necessary. It's the primary means by which we learn and grow. So what's the best way to deliver it in a way that it provides the greatest value — meaning the recipient truly absorbs and acts on it?
Tony lists the 3 mistakes everyone makes. It's a good read.
continued at HRB.org
Few managers have the leadership skill to properly deliver constructive criticism.
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