7 Reasons Why Fast, Frequent Feedback is Better Than Avoiding It
Updated: Nov 6, 2020
Most of us human beings would rather hang back and avoid commenting on anything that’s less than perfect about someone else’s behavior or work performance. We don’t want to de-motivate people or put them on the defensive, and we’re aware that we have our own shortcomings that are fair game for the other person to complain about.
So if you have some feedback in mind about how a team member could improve their performance, you may be thinking: “I should probably wait a while. Maybe I should collect more information and discuss it in a meeting later—say at a project review meeting or annual performance evaluation. That way the constructive criticism will be “in context” and the other person will see it in perspective. At least their bad mood will be limited to a couple of times a year, rather than stressing me out today.”
Especially when it comes to the team members we directly manage, it’s a huge disservice to them, the team, and ourselves to hold back on this vital information. It’s like turning off the airplane’s navigation system in the middle of the flight so that course corrections can be made “later.”
Here’s why it’s easier to feed back information to your team member right now:
#1 The improvement can be started immediately
You have a better crack at seeing better results if they get started on the change the minute after you share the feedback
#2 You will be in a worse mood if the situation doesn’t improve
If they are blissfully unaware of the problem, they will remain blissfully unaware of the solution and you won’t see any solution
#3 You will create resentment if you don’t tell them now
If you wait any longer and have to admit that you’ve noticed the problem for quite a few weeks or months, the employee will be upset that you didn’t say anything sooner
#4 You will build trust if you give frequent, honest feedback
People know that you can be counted on to tell them exactly what is on your mind–good news, bad news, and ideas for improving their impact. Your relationship with each of your team member gets more authentic and they know you care.
#5 You will reduce the stress that builds up before performance evaluation because there really won’t be any surprises
You can rest easier and reduce the preparation time for annual reviews if you’ve already discussed any issues as they pop up throughout the year
#6 You can ask for feedback from them every time you have a feedback conversation
You will have many opportunities for getting feedback yourself and knowing how to grow as a leader of your team
#7 Feedback will get easier and easier in your group and soon people will be clamoring for more!
You are now creating an information-rich culture in which everyone seeks rather than avoids feedback!
There are no real down sides to everyday feedback.