I love the feedback model. I have talked about it to my team in team meeting. They are excited about it I have used it several times. I say several because I have a problem, other than just doing it enough to make the format seem normal and comfortable to me.

Many times I get so busy in other responsibilities that I have during the day that I am not "available" to give feedback. I either don't look for it, hear or see opportunities to give it, or don't come out of my own busy bubble to give it.

Any suggestions for someone who really wants to do this? How do you balance what you have to do personally as a manager and what you need to do for your team members?

MattJBeckwith's picture
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Linda, this is one of those fundamental questions of change in my mind. I, too, struggled with giving feedback regularly and I'll tell you how I overcame it.

First, though, let me say kudos to you for taking the greatest step in my opinion by understanding and acknowledging the value of feedback. You are on your way!

The best advice I ever heard about feedback using the model was to think of it in terms of an instance instead of a session. Look for feedback instances, don't worry about looking for time to schedule sessions for feedback.

Once I committed to giving regular feedback using the model I actually wrote it down on my daily list of things that [b]had to get done[/b] that day. After just a few days I found myself looking for the smallest things on which to give feedback.

There really were tons of opportunities to give feedback, mostly affirming, around every day, all the time. I just wasn't looking for them before.

I wrote my self a simple note and placed it where I will see it everyday, it says two things:

Feedback leads to effective behavior
Potato Chip (from [url]

Always remembering that my goal in giving feedback is to simply encourage effective behavior makes those opportunities for instances pop out.

Don't be afraid to ctrl-shift-k "Giving Feedback".

As managers, we can get behind quickly. Commit to giving feedback a couple times a day and build from there.

Another of my favorite suggestions is to put 5 coins in one pocket as a reminder to give 5 pieces of feedback daily... moving from one pocket to another with every one.

Keep at it.

lindavoss's picture

Thanks for the response and the kudos.

I really like the idea of posting your "feedback" note at your desk and to ctrl-shift-k "Giving Feedback". I will give them both a try.

maura's picture
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Dave has some great suggestions here, as usual.

Looking at this from another angle, is there a way to get you out of your "own busy bubble" a little more? If you could free up more of your time, would it help you get closer to what your directs are doing, so you can watch for feedback opportunities? What can you delegate to someone who is ready to grow?

lindavoss's picture

This is slowly happening.

I manage an Accounting Department of about 12. I was originally hired to do payroll and promoted at 6 months to Office Manager. I still have all the payroll duties and have added 5 new people to the department since my promotion, one of which is an Admin that I can offload some things to.

Another team member has just taken some of the bank reporting (ie: bank statements etc.) and 3 team members to manage.

Hopefully in about 2-3 months I can transition payroll off of my plate.

Some days though, especially during payroll, I am deep in my bubble. I have a great team, they understand this, but I don't like feeling like I am not "available".

This is when I miss/avoid/don't even think of feedback.

Mark's picture
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I agree with Dave's comment about an "instance" versus a "session". (Of course I do, I think he got it from me, but whatever! ;-) )


Hey, can I give you some feedback?

When you miss the deadline, it slows things down. Can you do that differently?

Seriously - how long does that take?

If you do that IN PASSING, or in the hall while walking, it's, what, 10 seconds?

When you think of it this way, the barriers lower...


MattJBeckwith's picture
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[quote="mahorstman"]I agree with Dave's comment about an "instance" versus a "session". (Of course I do, I think he got it from me, but whatever! ;-) )[/quote]

That's exactly who I got it from... where else? I guess I forgot to call that out :lol: .

I will add that the quantum leap for me and my team was that very thought: feedback is an instance, not a session.


stephenbooth_uk's picture

I'm sure I recall M&M talking ( I may be mentally collating comments from several casts here) about managers who are too busy with their 'day job' (i.e. non-management work) to do the various management activities such as feedback, O3s, coaching, planning &c. As I recall the final result was that if you're a manager then that's your 'day job' the non-management work is what you do when you have time amongst the management activities. If you don't have time to do both then you need to look at delegating some of the non-management work or even seeing if it can be cut entirely. The person you delegate the work to may not be able to do it as good or as quickly as you but so long as they can do it good enough and quick enough that's fine

I also remember some comments (from the "Effective Executive, Efficient Assistant" casts IIRC) around how time management is about deciding what you don't mind getting in trouble for not doing.


LouFlorence's picture
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Hi Linda-

A couple of replies alluded to getting out of your own bubble more. Let me try to add a helpful 2 cents.

One thing that is very tough for us as we transition to management is to let things we did very well pass on to others who will not do them as well as we did.

As an accounting manager with 12 directs, your role as an individual contributor should be zero or nearly so. Getting there should be a top priority for you. Until you are there, you reduce your ability to manage effectively (giving feedback, doing one-on-ones, etc.).

Give the payroll to one of your good performers. You might have to fix some mistakes, but that's OK. Devote your time to managing the group.

Best of luck,

lindavoss's picture

A lot of great suggestions. Thank you all!

I just finished listening to the Effective Executive/Efficient Assistant pod casts and that gave me a lot to think about as well.

This is an amazing group of people.

James Gutherson's picture


This is an amazing group of people.[/quote]

You are right Linda - some days I feel *this* website is the reason the internet was invented :D

Mark's picture
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You can't call me Al!

Thanks for the kind words.


agreen's picture

[quote]I will add that the quantum leap for me and my team was that very thought: feedback is an instance, not a session.[/quote]

I am with Dave in that thinking about feedback as an instance was a quantumn leap for me personally. It took a while for the team to come along but they too now see it this way.

The other great point that I got from Mark was that feedback should be like breathing, ie, don't hold your breath, do it now and do it constantly.

If you think about feedback the context of these two ideas I reckon it not only brings it into your "busy bubble" it keeps it at the top of the list all the time. I have learnt that there is nothing more important or fundamental to developing good behaviours and a great team.