Actionable feedback: Unlocking the power of learning and performance…
Actionable feedback: Unlocking the power of learning and performance improvement
Feedback Giver: Manager
"actor/ observer bias"
more likely to attribute failures to internal causes (the subordinates themselves), to discount subordinate successes, and to find subordinate performance lacking
the recognition that people are constantly flooded with information from all five senses
people have learned to be selective about where they focus their attention.
managers are typically biased toward mag internal (personal vs. situational) attributions, and this increases the likelihood that the feedback will come across as a personal attack
if the manager's attributions focus
on a stable cause, such as lack of ability or a personality trait, the feedback may leave the receiver feeling discouraged about the prospects for change
people overestimate the likelihood that others will see things the same way they do.
managers are likely both to make overly critical or blaming internal attributions and to fail to recognize that others may not agree with these attributions.
Failure to recognize the gap between our conclusions and others' conclusions, when combined with
the human tendency to be overconfident in the accuracy of our own conclusions, reduces the feedback giver's ability to see the need to provide more concrete, useful information to the receiver.
Third-Party Perspective Differences
People see their conclusions as obvious and self-evident, and they expect others to see things the same way
feedback givers tend to be insufficiently aware of how large a gap may exist between their perceptions and those of the receiver
feedback givers tend not to prepare sufficiently to play the role of educator when giving feedback
Strong Emotions Can Impact Ratings and Feedback Formulation and Delivery
The feedback givers' emotions can influence performance ratings, formulation of feedback, and delivery of feedback
Irritation may be exacerbated by their personal anxieties about giving feedback and the frustration that has built up because they waited too long to address the problem
Interpersonal affect, and to a lesser extent mood,
have been shown to affect performance ratings.
Feedback that is delivered merely as a by-product of a manager letting off steam is unlikely to generate a constructive response
Feedback tends to be most helpful when it is given with the intent of development, and the way feedback is crafted or delivered might affect the way the
receiver perceives the giver's intent
The observation that people tend to be overconfident in the accuracy of their perceptions is a very robust finding in the psychological literature.
people tend to forget that their conclusions about other people are not cold, hard facts, but are actually inferences made using the imperfect lens of subjectively filtered information with possible biases and misinterpretations.
people often make little distinction between their own perceptions and reality
we tend to expect others to see things the same way we do
Because people think that their perceptions of others are obviously correct, they often do not feel the need to explain or illustrate how they arrived at their negative conclusion
Feedback givers tend to forget that they may be missing something as a result of incomplete data, misinterpretation, or relying on a faulty assumption
Feedback Receiver: Employee
people tend not to view themselves accurately
they are not good at accurately perceiving how others are seeing them
they see themselves more positively than others see them
in assessing our own work we tend to see ourselves as responsible for successes, and blame failures on others or external forces
inaccurate positive self-perceptions (positive illusions)
hallmark of mental health and are crucial to enabling people to avoid depression and maintain the self-esteem, confidence, and optimism that keep them motivated, persistent, and productive
high perceived self-efficacy enhances performance on a variety of tasks, and he has argued that seeing yourself as more capable than you really are enhances your performance more than accurate self-perception
receivers can experience a strong "fight or flight" emotional reaction
Attacks the Person Rather Than the Person's Behavior
taken as a personal attack by the receiver because it criticizes the person or the person's character rather than addressing the behavior that is problematic
feedback giver's attribution appears to be internal (assigning blame to the person rather than the situation) and stable (consistent across situations)
feedback that focuses the receiver's attention on the "self" rather than the task or task learning tends to have a negative effect on subsequent performance.
this kind of internal, stable formulation may be experienced by the receivers as suggesting that they are not capable of change, and this can be discouraging to the receiver
SOLUTION: by beginning the message with "I" rather than "you," the focus is less on blaming the other and more on helping the receiver understand the perceptions of the feedback giver
This format also focuses attention on the task and on an opportunity for producing better results. This is also more likely to lead to a constructive dialogue.
Vague or Abstract Assertions
the feedback above is rather vague or abstract and could be interpreted in many different ways
This vagueness makes the feedback difficult to interpret correct
may encourage defensiveness because the fact that it is difficult to interpret may lead the receiver to see it as inaccurate and falsely accusational
stated without illustrations or examples of what specific things these individuals do that leads the feedback givers to see them this way
Illustrations or examples may be essential for enabling the recipients to make a concrete connection with what the feedback giver is talking about
Illustrations and examples make the feedback more understandable and may also help to clarify what the implications for action might be
lll-Defined Range of Application
the feedback is global, without any clarification about the conditions under which the problematic behavior does or does not exhibit itself
We do not know whether this problematic behavior is exhibited almost all the time in almost all situations or whether it is only exhibited under certain conditions.
there is no specificity or clarification as to the conditions under which it is exhibited and those under which it is not exhibited
if the recipients can think of even one situation to which the feedback does not apply, they may feel justified in seeing the feedback as inaccurate and in seeing themselves as being unfairly attacked.
Unclear Impact and Implications for Action
have little sense of what allegedly dysfunctional consequences are being produced, why this is important, and what should be done to fix the problem
the recipients may have difficulty inferring from this feedback what is desired of them and how they can rectify the situation.