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Are you listening? Why traditional performance feedback sessions don’t work and what to do instead.

Performance reviews are a stapler in a manager’s life. The stated purpose is generally to evaluate the performance of employees, and using constructive feedback, highlighting areas open for improvement, and offering praise for things that have gone well. So Why is it that it can hurt performance in 38% of cases?

There are lots of theories associated with how to give feedback. Which way is most effective, which way will help you get the best out of your staff. How not to do it. How often you should review performance.

What if the answer was as simple as LISTENING?

Simple does not mean easy, but with practice, you will experience how powerful it can be. So here are a few tips:

  • When someone is raising an issue with you, try not to interfere by sharing your own arguments, ideas or solutions, even if you are trying to help. Just listen.

  • Switch off your mobile phone, close your laptop, etc…

  • Pay attention to body language: sit up or stand up straight, slightly lean forward, and avoid “shutting down” signs like crossing arms.

  • Silence is fine.

  • Give the speaker time to think – you will be amazed at what they can come up with.

  • Silence really is fine.

  • If the silence has become too long, try summarising what the speaker has said, and check your understanding of it. You will demonstrate that you have been listening.

  • Practise: find a partner to practise with, and try listening without distraction for X minutes, gradually building up the time.

These are all coaching skills that you can teach yourself and develop as a manager. Your staff will surprise you and you will surprise yourself.

Are you ready to truly listen?

Would you like to experience being listened to? Our ears are wide open.

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