By Viktoria Abelson
Senior Consultant – Healthcare
Picture it. You walk into your boss’s office (or call into the Zoom). Your hands are sweaty. Your heart is racing. It’s that time. Your annual performance review.
Performance reviews can be hard, stressful, and full of pressure (for both sides).
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Successful performance reviews are built on a culture of effective continuous feedback.
Traditionally we think of feedback as reactive. Your employee finishes a project, task, or meeting and you react to it.
That process works, but it’s not without its downsides. For one, it leaves our team members feeling anxious, knowing that anytime they do something, there may be a negative reaction (let’s face it, when we think of giving feedback, it’s relatively positive). The other challenge is that this model does not invite conversation. It assumes that the person giving feedback talks and the other person just listens.
I would like to propose a new way to think about giving (and receiving) feedback.
Feedback is an invitation for a conversation. It’s a way to understand what is working and what is not. It’s a way to learn how you can best support your team. Finally, it’s a way to dig into how you can improve processes and workflows on both the macro level (the organization) and the micro level (the employee).
Both the person giving feedback and the person receiving feedback have an important role to play during the conversation:
The person giving the feedback:
- Sets the tone for the conversation
- Gives both positive and negative feedback
- Is actionable, timely, and specific
- Focuses on outcomes
- Focuses on the situation and NOT the person
- Follows through
The person getting feedback:
- Does their own reflection
- Keeps a wins and losses list
- Is open and asks questions
- Follows through
Although this list is not exhaustive, it helps to put us on the path towards having productive & effective feedback conversations that lead to better performance, impactful teams, and stronger relationships.
In the end, that’s what we want, isn’t it?