Shot across the bow

Wow, what a great 'cast today, very profound.

For directs that don't immediately buy in (start arguing), I've been giving feedback about that within the feedback. Is that ever appropriate?

Sounds like this (paraphrased).

ME: May I give you some feedback?
DR: Yes.
ME: When you turn in your report late it makes you and I look bad, what can you do differently next time?
DR: I wasn't exactly late, I had other issues, it wasn't my fault, I can't believe we're talking about this.
ME: May I give you some feedback?
DR: Yes.
ME: When I give you feedback and you argue that you weren't late it makes me think you don't take your performance seriously. What can you do differently?

...and so on.

I picked this up at the conference and have found that it works well.

My question is this: should I always be following the method described in the "shot across the bow" 'cast or are there times when this other way works?

Shot across the bow

Oh, and let me say this. I can absolutey see the power of using the "bow" method and will likely lean toward that every time.

I [b]loved[/b] the potato chip analogy, that is so perfect; it's just one chip in the bag... no one chip really matters in the grand scheme of everything.

Great, great show this week!

Shot across the bow

I'm going to have to listen to this podcast a few more times before this soaks in, I believe... I'm with Dave. I've followed his approach since the first conference, and honestly, I've had mixed results. But I can't imagine that letting the employee walk away from our conversation thinking they're in the clear is going to help encourage effective behavior in the future. Doesn't it send a mixed message?

Worse, when the employee repeats the behavior I essentially gave him/her permission to exhibit by saying I was wrong in my feedback, don't they now have a precedent to say, "well last time, you agreed this wasn't an issue!"

I'm not saying I'm against the "shot" method - I just want to make sure I understand it correctly so I don't go putting a hole through the bow by mistake :).

Oh, and I can tell everyone from personal experience, getting engaged in the defensive behavior thing is bad bad bad!! Don't do it! Only gloom and doom will follow.

Shot across the bow

[quote]Worse, when the employee repeats the behavior I essentially gave him/her permission to exhibit by saying I was wrong in my feedback, don't they now have a precedent to say, "well last time, you agreed this wasn't an issue!" [/quote]
You didn't say it wasn't an issue. It's clearly an issue, you brought it up. You simply said you believed them when they said they didn't do it. The shot across the bow is saying that the behavior is unacceptable.

If the problem resurfaces, you can talk about how a pattern is developing. What does Mark say all the time... If someone tells you you have a tail, don't believe them. If 2 people tell you, it's a conspiracy. The third time someone tells you, turn around and check. :)

M&M's point is that you don't really care what happened. It's not productive to "prove your point." You just want to effect future behavior.

Shot across the bow

Thanks, that clarifies things for me.

I had a case once where a person disagreed with my assessment of the result of the behavior. My feedback to this person was that when he challenged people in a rude and abusive way, people were not going to make the changes he wanted them to make. He flat out told me nobody had ever given him that feedback before and therefore he felt it was wrong or didn't apply to him, and in fact he didn't think any feedback I could offer him would apply to him. This is where I lost my cool, but I think Dave's technique would have been appropriate here.

He eventually left the company.

Shot across the bow

Well, rude and abusive are your interpretations of his behavior. What did he do that was rude? What was abusive?

For instance:
Raising your voice.
Invading another person's personal space (standing very close)
Using inappropriate language
Shaking your finger in their face
Calling them stupid

These are things that cannot be argued. If you tell me I'm rude, I'll say no I wasn't. Now you're mired.

If you say I shook my finger in their face, either I did or I didn't. If I did, you let me know shouldn't.. If I say I didn't, well, you've fired the shot over my bow. You've let me know that finger shaking is not acceptable. Either way, I know not to finger shake.

Shot across the bow

He was alienating his peers and his management chain on a daily basis by telling them bluntly and in public forums their plans were [explicative] stupid, they had no sense of what they were doing, they weren't inspiring to him in the least, he didn't value their opinions or feedback, etc. Mind you, these were all people with much more experience and perspective than he had. And then when asked to be part of the solution, he's say "not my problem - that's your problem".

The sad thing was, in many cases, his end points were often valid. But his delivery technique was so alienating that rather than making any progress on fixing them, he just further dug himself into a hole.

But I get your point. "Rude" is subjective. Cursing, raising your voice, or flatlt refusing to take action on feedback from your management team are behaviors that can be addressed.

Turning this into a bit more of a hypotetical case now to make sure I fully understand... Since his behavior was noticed by many people and was demonstrated in public, is there still any point to allowing him to deny it happened and "believing" him? Why wouldn't I just move forward with next level of feedback - essentially that not taking action on feedback is not acceptable?

Shot across the bow

I think I should listen to the podcast before I serve myself up a heaping plate of foot for dinner!

Shot across the bow

[quote]Turning this into a bit more of a hypotetical case now to make sure I fully understand... Since his behavior was noticed by many people and was demonstrated in public, is there still any point to allowing him to deny it happened and "believing" him? Why wouldn't I just move forward with next level of feedback - essentially that not taking action on feedback is not acceptable?[/quote]
Have you given him feedback before? I was making the assumption that this was the first "shot across the bow." If this isn't the first time you are giving him feedback on this topic, then it's no longer a shot across the bow.

The first time, your goal is simply to let him know what behavior is unacceptable. It's not okay to curse. It's not okay to raise your voice. Whether he admits he did that or not doesn't matter, you're setting a standard. If the behavior is repeated, you have a historical standard to fall back upon.

When you use the feedback model step 4 asks the recipient what he can do differently next time. You have to wait for him to come up with something that addresses the issue to your satisfaction, and he has to say it. That way if the behavior is repeated you can give him feedback on not doing what he said he was going to do. You might not get this with a "shot across the bow," but you can get it the next time. It's just one piece of feedback among many. There will be plenty of opportunity.

(I'm really just summarizing the great material M&M have in the feedback casts. You should give them another listen, the information will be more complete.)

Again from the casts, don't forget to adjust the impact message (step 3) based on his personality type. He sounds like a D. Don't tell him it hurts other people's feelings when he does that. He doesn't care. Other people's feelings are their problems. Tell him that it makes other people not listen to him. Tell him it makes other people not want to work with him. You get the idea.

Finally, if you're giving feedback and he's not adjusting, that's feedback too. "When you don't do the things you say you're going to do it makes me think you're not interested in keeping this job. It makes me think about firing you." But see how much more powerful that is if you have step 4 in from before? If you just tell him "If you don't get along with everyone, I'm going to fire you" that's so much less. Remember, he doesn't have a problem getting along with them, they have the problem. At least in his mind. But not doing what he said he was going to do is his problem.

Shot across the bow

Let's drill down to the actual behavior...

"When you tell someone their idea is 'blanking stupid,' they don't hear anything else you say, and your opinion gets automatically rejected. What can you do differently?" Alas, with this approach you will have to quote the expletive.

If they claim not to have used the words "blanking stupid," that's fine. They'll still think twice before using that phrase in your presence again.

At least that's the way I understand the shot across the bow technique.

Shot across the bow

I really loved this cast.

It made me realised how counterproductive I can get, when I want to prove the other I am right. I think this is a "D" caracteristic.

We want to be right and we want to go fast. We sometimes forget to go for results and instead we go for proving we are right.

When someone does not accept my feedback or my analysis of the consequencies, my natural tendency is to attack the other person version, by adding new arguments.
It cannot work.

When I do that, the other is not anymore listening to me. He is thinking like this : "Ooops, he really wants to be right, even if he is not. I'd better say okay."

I will "win" the discussion each time. But things will not change.

It is much powerfull to play like Mark and Mike said in the cast :
- less time and energy
- less conflict
- more power given to the other person

Sometimes, the other will not agree with your feedback. But she will change her behaviour ...

What is our your goal : being right or being efficient ? :wink:

Cédric

Shot across the bow

[quote="cedwat"]When someone does not accept my feedback or my analysis of the consequencies, my natural tendency is to attack the other person version, by adding new arguments.
It cannot work.

When I do that, the other is not anymore listening to me. He is thinking like this : "Ooops, he really wants to be right, even if he is not. I'd better say okay."

I will "win" the discussion each time. But things will not change.[/quote]

Would it help to remember that you're not winning because your direct is recognizing your desire to be right? You are winning because your direct is caught in the flashing red light of death and says "Ooops, this is my boss, he may fire me if argue."

Brian

Shot across the bow

Worse than that : "He is the boss. If I say he is right even when I know he is not, he will be happy about me ..." :wink:

Shot across the bow

[quote="cedwat"]It made me realised how counterproductive I can get, when I want to prove the other I am right. I think this is a "D" caracteristic.

We want to be right and we want to go fast. We sometimes forget to go for results and instead we go for proving we are right. [/quote]
[img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v197/ashsa/emoticons/amen.gif[/img] 100% guilty of that over here.

Your direct may be a high D which means his natural tendency (much like mine) is to argue, clarify, differentiate, re-qualify, etc.

What I took from the Shot Across the Bow podcast was (among other things) it's about future behaviour. Arguing the merits of who was right or wrong in past behaviour doesn't pertain to SAtB. The example originally posted seems to be a quick succession of SAtB -- you start with "late report" and, as a direct result of that Shot, lead into a Shot on "arguing FB." Successive shots will generally be perceived as an attack - lousy aim, but attack nonetheless - and when one is under attack, one is generally inclined to defend / fight back.

Shot across the bow

[quote="cedwat"]Worse than that : "He is the boss. If I say he is right even when I know he is not, he will be happy about me ..." :wink:[/quote]

Lol - ok, fair.

brian