by George Anastasopoulos
“I need to give you some feedback.” When I first heard this from my manager, early in my career, I thought “great! I want know how I can improve.” In the next 15 minutes he started by pointing out in painful detail everything I did wrong, not according to the rules, or not according to how he’d do it or wanted it done. He followed in even more excruciating detail precisely what he wanted me to do, how to do it, and how to keep him informed so he could stop me from messing up.
Along the way he picked up momentum as he was speaking, adding greater emphasis to my abominable behaviour and performance. And he finished on a positive note by telling me it wasn’t my fault for being new and inexperienced, and that I would eventually get it and fit in.
A couple of these experiences and my reaction to “I need to give you some feedback” changed from excitement and anticipation, to despair, defensiveness and resignation. At that point I only listened to a small amount of what shot my way.
Can you relate to any part of that? You might have experienced some of that, or maybe even dished it out. Here’s today’s tip to shift your belief system so you do less, accomplish more, and make a difference.
Managers give feedback on what you shouldn’t have done and what you should do better.
Leaders give feedback on what you did well and suggest ways to improve.
There’s a quote I love…to hate. “Nobody notices when things go right.” How true. And managers with their obsession for getting things right are especially good at missing, overlooking or just plain ignoring what went well. Is that you? Here’s what I encourage you to do:
- Next time you have the compelling urge to give someone feedback, fight the urge.
- Instead, take a few moments and reflect on what they’ve been doing well. This might prove difficult because you likely have so little experience with it. Write out these points and have them handy.
- Offer suggestions for improvement. Replace judgmental, accusatory or instructional language with observational and objective language. For example;
- From “you didn’t” to “I didn’t see or hear.…”
- From “you should have” to “what might have worked better”
- From “I don’t like how you…” to “it didn’t seem effective when…”
So, I ask you; do you really want to be telling others what they did badly and what they should do? If you do, go ahead and do more. But I’m betting you’re not. So, do your homework, all of the points above, and within a week I guarantee you’ll be experiencing a difference.
When that happens, reach out to me and tell me about it so we can publish and share your winning practices to benefit your brothers and sisters in the pharmacy profession.
If it doesn’t, reach out to me and in a half hour I’ll coach you to make sure it does. And I especially want to acknowledge and thank those of you who’ve already connected with me to share your experiences; you’re well on your way to leadership.
Read the rest of the leadership series: