The Value of Frequent, Direct Feedback

“Do you report to a good leader?” I asked participants in a workshop.

About forty-five percent raised their hands.

“How does your leader earn the designation of good leader?” I asked.

A participant reported, “He gives frequent and direct feedback on my performance.”  The participant continued to explain that he had just completed an audit of a client’s records.  Two days later, the leader sent an email listing five strong points and two items to improve.  Shortly after, the leader met in person with the team member to review his comments.

I asked participants, “How many of you get frequent, helpful feedback on completed job tasks?”  Only eighteen percent raised their hands.

A common lament is, “When my work is going well, I seldom hear from my leader.  I make one mistake and my boss approaches me at the speed of light.” 

Another participant reported, “My leader continuously communicates her assessment of my work, even on the less significant tasks.  Fortunately, most of her comments are positive; but if she thinks I need to improve on something, she is quick to tell me.  Because of this, I am usually able to produce exactly what my boss expects.”

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