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How To Start Honest Feedback Conversations With People You’ve Been Avoiding For A Long Time

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

You may have an aha! experience of realizing that feedback is something you need to do. Now. And on a regular basis.

Maybe the reason is not so pleasant–such as being fed up with a poor performer and realizing you have not really talked to them about it. Maybe a project went awry, and with hindsight, it’s clear that feedback would have corrected the problems a long time ago. Or maybe it’s a solid employee leaving, after a mediocre performance review and no earlier warning.

Whatever the cause, you may have jumped up and realized it would be a good thing to sit down with each employee regularly, and an even better thing to give immediate feedback about a lot of things–on a day-to-day basis.

If you’ve had a sudden turnaround, what do you tell your peeps?

-You have to admit that you weren’t doing it much in the past. Tell them that you want to do it, and you want to do it to help them succeed. Make sure they know that feedback doesn’t mean they being dinged. You will be checking in to help them succeed. Make it clear that you want their feedback back too.

-Don’t dump! Start with 1 or 2 clear improvement areas that will make the biggest difference. If you’ve avoided giving feedback, it won’t work to express all of your frustrations from the past

-Proceed with frequent check-ins every few days and continue honest, helpful feedback to coach them along the way.

You will now be leading in a way that supports the goals of you and each of your team members!

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