Leaders’ timely feedback on the performance of their subordinates is one of the core of management.

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We often say that as a low-level employee in the work process, it is necessary to develop the habit of regularly reporting the progress of the work. The work that leaders have to deal with at work is very complicated. If the employee does not report the progress in time, it is likely that the leader cannot fully understand what he is doing? What achievements have you achieved? Is there a potential for continuous improvement?

However, for leaders, timely feedback to subordinates is equally important. Kim Scott, who has worked with Internet companies such as Google and Apple, put forward the concept of “absolute frankness” in her new book Absolute Candid. She believes that the core of “absolute frankness” is that leaders should give feedback as quickly and informally as possible, although this is not an easy task for many leaders.

Why do you say that? There are two reasons for this: First, people’s nature will be postponed or avoid conflicts. Second, everyone’s daily routine is busy enough. However, if feedback is given immediately, if the leader fails to respond in time, it will have far-reaching effects, and ultimately the leader will bear the consequences.

If you are a leader, how should you respond in time?

1. If you give guidance after a long time, things will get harder.

Imagine that you noticed a problem and realized that the problem needs to be resolved, but you did not write it down in time. When you suddenly think about this problem, you need to sit down and think about it for a long time to clear up the relationship. Then you need to arrange a meeting and list a list of things that you want to say but don’t say.

Before the meeting, you still need to find time to remember some random items on the list that you originally wanted to say but have not been jot down. The things on the list won’t be exactly the same as you want to say, because you can’t clearly recall the situation at the time. Eventually such a meeting will confuse and frustrate your colleagues. What do you want to criticize? Postponing criticism will only make people feel discouraged and exhausted. Speaking directly will be more efficient and will ease your burden.

2, say it directly, but you need to streamline it to only 2~3 minutes.

You have to say what you want to express as soon as possible, and you can use one or two minutes to say the best, up to three minutes. This will save a lot of time than scheduling a meeting later, and will also prevent you from being bothered by this matter for too long, and worrying about your free time.

When the professor was absolutely frank, the question that Scott was most often asked was: “How should I arrange the time?”She thinks this is because they don’t believe in the importance of guidance. But after talking to them, she found that people actually didn’t believe that the guidance could be done quickly. They think that they should arrange an hour’s meeting to guide employees. It is correct to give them good guidance. It takes several hours of meetings per week, so the guidance in their eyes is like root canal treatment. Don’t think like this, try to think of the guide as a daily brushing. Don’t write it into your schedule, you just need to stick to it as always, maybe you will find that you don’t need root canal treatment at all.

3. Leave plenty of time in the schedule, otherwise you would rather be late in the next meeting.

Prioritizing something usually means you have to set aside time for it in the calendar. But how do you set aside time for “bursty” events? Obviously not. The best way is to talk to that person immediately. In order to ensure this happens smoothly, you must do one of the following two points: First, leave ample time in the schedule, do not arrange back-to-back meetings, or hold 25~50 minutes, 30~60 minutes. There are pause meetings; second, it is very simple and willing to be late in the next meeting.

4. Don’t wait for one-on-one meetings or performance evaluations to guide employees.

A lot of people forget how to get along with others after becoming a leader. This is one of the most interesting places for leadership.

In life, if you have a conflict with others, then you will not wait until the formal meeting to tell them. Don’t let formal processes (one-on-one meeting, annual or semi-annual performance evaluation, employee happiness survey) replace effective communication. They exist to strengthen everyday affairs, not to replace everyday affairs. You will never have to wash your teeth a few times a year instead of brushing your teeth, right? So don’t let performance evaluation hinder immediate feedback.

5. Unspoken criticism will explode like a nuclear bomb.

As in life, if you stay silent for a long time of anger or frustration at work, then in the end you are likely to break out in a way that is irrational or hurts relationships with others, or two The two methods are combined into one. So unless you feel that you are angry, please say your thoughts right away!

Not only that, you need to let others know the effect of their work. If you think that the subordinate’s work efficiency is problematic and must be criticized and guided, then you must let the other party know as soon as possible. If you don’t do this, the person who takes on the job will feel that his efforts seem to fall into the black hole.

Feedbacks on the contributions of others are critical. Of course, if possible, it’s best to let people personally demonstrate their work so they can get direct feedback.

6. Face-to-face guidance is not required, but it is significant.

The guidance is clear and clear to be judged by the audience, not the expresser. Therefore, you are best to give guidance in person. If you don’t see the other person’s reaction, you can’t really understand whether the other person understands you. If you don’t know if your expression is clear to your subordinates, then your words are the same as not saying. At the same time, most of the communication is non-verbal. When you see a person’s body language and facial expressions, you adjust the way you express your message to better attract them. By looking at other people’s eyes, observing whether they are at a loss or embracing their arms, you can more easily judge whether others clearly understand their intentions.

A common reason people don’t want to give personal guidance is that they are mostly afraid to see other people’s emotional reactions, which is normal. But if you can be there, the guidance will be more quality. If someone shows uneasiness, this will give you an opportunity to show sympathy. The emotional response of others can help you better understand how the information you express is accepted, which allows you to make timely adjustments.

Reading | Why do leaders need timely feedback to their subordinates?

How does negative feedback contribute to positive outcomes?

The feedback content of the leadership is often based on the evaluation of the subordinates’ work results. Compared with the quality of the work of praised subordinates, “effective” criticism makes leaders more headaches. How to make employees happy to accept opinions and avoid letting employees think that you are targeting them?

1, “Basic Attribution Error” will compromise the effectiveness of the guide.

The “Basic Attribution Error” was proposed by Stanford University social psychologist Lee Rose. It interprets behavior from the perspective of personal traits, that is, “you are stupid, lazy, greedy, hypocritical, etc.”, without considering other people’s behavior and environmental factors may also be the real cause of this practice.

This is a problem because: (1) this is usually inaccurate; (2) changing the core traits of the individual is difficult and time consuming, so this can make the problems that could have been solved difficult to solve. Use situations such as situations, behaviors, influences, etc. to stay humble and avoid personalizing the problem.

2. Replace “You are wrong” with “This is wrong.”

When Scott recalled his career experience, he thought that he had worked with a very candid person. Let me call him Jim. Although Jim did a good job, he didn’t get a fair evaluation – people think he hates it. After knowing enough about him, people willHe will find that he is not the case, he is only sometimes over-enthusiastic. In fact, his concern for his colleagues is like his concern for team work.

His work is excellent, and the short-term impression does not stop his success. But he always irritates others in the wrong way, which also puts unnecessary pressure on him and the team. But in fact, a few years later, when Scott met a colleague with the same team as Jim, the other side evaluated Jim: “Jim is a very good person! I like to work with him. He enjoys a good reputation because he is helpful. In the company, he gave me the most help.”

How did Jim do it? When Scott later called Jim, he said that he no longer said “you are wrong” and tried to say “I think this is wrong.” The phrase “I think” is more modest, and replacing “you” with “this” will not personalize the problem. The end result is that people are more willing to listen to his criticism.

In many cases, the controversy surrounding a small matter often evolves into a self-centered quarrel, such as “Would we go left or right, we should put the button at the top or at the bottom” Small problems often evolve into a vicious quarrel of “you fool, you are a blind man.” If the debate is about a problem, don’t get rid of it. Personalizing the problem will only make it more difficult to resolve.

3, “This is not for you” is worse than incompetence.

Although you may already have a sense of not personalizing the problem in your mind, even if you take the above steps, feedback is still very private for the recipient. Most people invest more time and energy in their work than anything else in their lives. Work is part of ourselves, so it is a personalization. When the leader tries to alleviate the blows suffered by the subordinates, you say “this is not for you” is actually denying these emotions of employees. It’s like saying “don’t be sad” or “don’t be angry.” As a leader (and as a person), part of his job is to recognize and respond to these emotional reactions, not to negate or escape them.

Leader’s timely feedback on the performance of subordinates is one of the core of management. Feedback includes encouragement, praise, guidance, criticism, and more. Using some of the tools and techniques mentioned above will make it easier for leaders to create a candid, trustful atmosphere in the team and inspire the morale of the employees to work effectively.

This article is organized from “Absolute Candidness: A New Management Philosophy” CITIC Publishing Group 2019.6

Reading | Why do leaders need timely feedback to their subordinates?

Author introduction

Gold Scott

The founder of Candor Ltd., Apple University tutor, Dropbox, Kurbo, Qualtrics, Twitter, and a number of technology companies in Silicon Valley. He has led the AdSense, YouTube, DoubleClick ad online sales team and Google’s operations. The co-founder and CEO of Juice Software, and leads the business development of Delta Three and Capital Thinking.