The Top 10 Feedback Mistakes Managers Make (AND which one trumps all others!)

The Top 10 Feedback Mistakes Managers Make (AND which one trumps all others!)

Whether it’s a formal performance appraisal meeting or one of your ongoing feedback conversations, bear in mind the pitfalls that can turn the conversation on its head. These are important and delicate conversations and deserve your full attention before, during, and afterwards. Feedback preparation goes a long way, and giving some thought to these top common feedback mistakes can help enormously:

  1. Waiting far too long to hold a feedback conversation.
  2. Not gaining the employees trust of your true intentions right at the start.
  3. Not describing and focusing on the ideal outcomes for both you and the employee from the start.
  4. Talking too much and not creating a two-way conversation by asking questions and listening.
  5. Assuming you have the full picture.
  6. Assuming you know why they behave the way they do.
  7. Not being open minded about their perspectives by being biased and judgmental.
  8. Being too vague and not using specific examples.
  9. Sugar-coating the message and not being candid.
  10. Not establishing clear commitments and specific next steps including your support.

How do you avoid making these mistakes? Some of them are self-explanatory. For example if you wait all year before you give any feedback, maybe book a quarterly conversation at least to check in with everyone on your team. If you talk too much, and don’t ask many questions or get stuck in telling or chastising mode, perhaps you could write down a few questions you could ask to make sure you invite their views.

So which of these mistakes trumps the rest? Number 2: Not gaining the employees trust of your true intentions right at the start. All other feedback foul-ups pale in insignificance if this one isn’t handled properly. So how do you avoid this one? Read our blog: Want people to be open to your feedback? Here’s the secret.


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