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Insights for performance

28 June 2013
Stephanie Peckham

Insights for performance

Most of us are familiar with at least one, if not many, of the numerous models for giving feedback; many business schools and leadership gurus have come up with mnemonics to help us remember what we need to include.

Yet we continue to focus our feedback mainly on poor performance and provide only “pats and strokes” for great performance – “great job team”; “you did that really well”. The most important aspect of feedback is usually missed – how to help people improve their performance and sustain the improvement.

We tend to know when we’ve done something well; as we do when we have performed poorly. So feedback that simply tells us what we already know isn’t going to make much difference going forward to our performance – although of course we all benefit from positive reinforcement.

Providing insight is what is missing – and this is what really helps people improve over the longer term. Helping people understand something they didn’t already know about their performance, approach or the impact they’ve made – that gives them something to work on.

Next time you’re planning to provide feedback, give some thought to what it is you want to encourage the person to do differently and how you can craft this into a powerful message that helps them. What don’t they already know? What is the insight you are providing?

If you can’t think of anything, then there is nothing new for them to take away and the feedback has no “oomph”!

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