Hey Guys,

I have been working with staff for a while now and I have been giving feedback in one-on-ones and so on. Recently I went to a course to evaluate it for my organisation and give feedback on the course. It was a great experience for me and made quite a few things finally click. One of the main points for me that was the term feedback is a bit of a "bucket" word and because of this can generate some mixed messages. So they split it up and divided it into three areas and whenever you do one kind of feedback, you don't confuse the issue by doing any other kind of feedback.

The three areas are:

Appreciation is focused on the person, and finding something to genuinely appreciate about them. Its purpose is to motivate, and it improved relationships and commitment through positive reinforcement and recognition. It should be done frequently, and both in a general and specific manner.

Coaching is focused on the performance. It should be done in a structured framework (such as the "working well"/"do differently). And the communication should be done in a sturctured manner as well (such as using the Ladder of Inference). You should share specific data, observations an dinterpretation, invite their views, and be fairly tentative about any conclusions you draw. The purpose of Coaching (either structured or unstructered) is to improve performance, and you should see improvements through a systematic and specific analysis of strengths. Coaching should be done fairly regularily.

Evaluation if used only as required (ie 6 month review) and it is focused on resource allocation, measuring success, discinplinary decisions, and development goals. It follows strict processes and policies. It needs to tie into any preceding coaching sessions.

So... how does this work. Well, for me it looks a little like this. I wander around my unit making sure I appreciate my staff frequently.. "Hey Bob, I thought you did a really good job with blah, thanks, I really appreciate your effort" (everybody has their own view on exactly how you say it etc).

I have one on one meetings with my directs where I talk about some tasks and apply the WWDD framework. I use a lot of the normal one on one format (from here), but I only focus on specific tasks/behaviours.

And every 6 months I will compile the coaching records, and sit down in another Evaluation 1on1 that has a list of their KPIs and between us work out if they have attained them or not. Also focus on development needs etc. In this meeting I don't do any coaching. Also, when staff first start, they do the initial evalution where their KPIs are outlined, but not marked.

I'd love to hear your view on what I am saying, or clarify anything of interest. I have found that this is helping me with matching the intent of each type of feedback I give much more closely to the impact that it actually has.

The course was provided by an Australian company that has links to two major Universities. If you want their details PM me.