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Submitted by WillDuke on


BLUF - I'd like to hear a podcast on identifying and communicating consequences.

I feel silly suggesting this. The truth is I could use some help. I'm a high-S, which I'm sure is why this is hard for me.

I think it would be interesting to hear you guys talk about consequences. One-on-Ones, feedback, reviews, all of this communication is great. Communicating benefits I'm good at. I have a harder time communicating consequences.

If I could communicate consequences better, then I could hold people accountable better. If I could hold people accountable better then we could achieve better performance.

Hopefully I'm not the only wuss manager out there. :?

Will Duke

juliahhavener's picture
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Just to hop out on a limb here...

Giving feedback is all about communicating consequences. Benefits are, after all, just positively-viewed consequences. It won't be much different for you than it is for me. You have a small business. I work for a very large company that has wide-set policies already in place as a framework. I'm certain that you have a few 'hard and fast' things that won't be tolerated and are well-communicated, and others that are a little more flexible though you'd like for them to go away (behaviors, not people, mind you).

Just be sure that you are outlining consequences (positive and negative) of behaviors in your feedback. I find that making it matter-of-fact (I'm not passing judgement, I'm just stating facts) makes this much easier. Also, practicing makes it easier. I'm not proficient yet, but I'm working on it, and as I do, my team takes it better and better and has stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop and started looking forward to it.

PattiBarcroft's picture


I agree with Julia - in the feedback model, the consequences are what is communicated with the statement "here's what happens".

If you practice the model and really follow it, you'll start to see behavior and be able to identify the consequences. Consider writing out what you see and what the consequences are, then read it aloud until you are comfortable with it.

At the Effective Manager's Conference we practiced this extensively. It was very beneficial. If you can make it to the next conference it will help you a bunch.


WillDuke's picture
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I really wanted to go to the conference, but it came at a bad time (my birthday.)

I get the whole idea of feedback and "this is what happens." But is it enough to explain the results of behavior without the consequences to the employee themselves?

For instance, "When you raise your voice and talk over other people it prevents them from communicating their thoughts and stifles creativity for the rest of the team."

Do you stop there, or do you add "and if you don't stop it, I'm going to smack you around?" Followed, of course, by "So what do you think you can do about that?"

Seriously though, should you spell out consequences to their job? Like "I'll have to let you go?" It feels like that belongs after the 4th or 5th time you give the same feedback. What fits nicely on 2 or 3?

Maybe I'm just overthinking this. But then, if you spent a lot of time at the conference practicing it, maybe I'm not.

mauzenne's picture
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I guess, like a lot of folks new to the feedback model, you're making too big a deal about it. When you've got it down, you're giving feedback 10 times *a day*. I'm sure you agree it would feel odd saying "and your job is in jeopardy" ten times a day. :-)

Really, you simply give the feedback with a smile on your face, in a conversational tone, implying NOTHING about the future. Simply "when you do THIS, this is what HAPPENS". People are smart, want to do well, and will figure it out.

Now, after many nice, polite, friendly pieces of feedback about the same thing, then it changes a little ... systemic feedback. And then after that doesn't work, then you *might* start talking about more severe consequences.

I think folks at the conference would agree, practice makes all the difference here. See you in San Antonio in September! ;-)

best regards,

WillDuke's picture
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All right, what are the dates for San Antonio? I'll block out the dates in my calendar.

I hope it's late September. Our Rotary club's annual fund raiser is on Labor Day weekend. (Anyone want to buy some ducks?)

Will Duke