When NOT To Give Feedback - Part 1
This cast describes some situations where feedback isn't appropriate, because the error/mistake/infraction is so egregious, encouragement of effective future behavior isn't enough.
What do you when one of your directs does something particularly egregious, something beyond the pale? It's SO bad, in fact, that you think it COULD be possible that you would fire them. What do you do?
Well, you don't give feedback.
Every once in awhile, at one of our conferences, or at client locations when we're coaching or training, we are asked about a dramatic incident involving a direct where a manager didn't know what to do. First off, don't feel bad if this has happened to you – drama and lack of an effective solution readily at hand. It happens a lot. We understand. Management may not be complex, but it is hard to do it well at times when risks and tensions are high, and we're responsible, but there's really no roadmap. We understand, because we've been there.
The incident they bring up might be an employee stealing, or a team member physically assaulting someone, or abusing someone, an employee or customer. We give guidance with phrases like, I'm thinking about firing you. Go home now. Or, Enough. Be quiet. You're close to losing your job. Would everyone else excuse us right now? The questioner is stunned…because that's not feedback.
So what DO we recommend managers do and say in one of these really unusual moments?