The new year has started off with a couple of interesting management development contracts. One in an FE/HE college and one in a housing association.
In both cases the reaction to the training has been very positive. Managers have started using 121s which I am really pleased about – but once again – have found it difficult to start to give affirming or adjusting feedback. The main barriers to giving feedback seem to be around ‘self-image’.
Perhaps it is a lack of confidence as a manager (it really is your job to give and get feedback if you are a manager – this is not negotiable!).
Perhaps it is fear of an emotional reaction (although we train feedback models that keep the chances of this very small).
It may be that managers are just not sufficiently clear about the behaviours they are trying to influence in pursuit of performance.
Or it may just be the fear of trying something new, of saying different words, of picking up on things that have historically been overlooked.
The one thing I do know is that once managers start to give and get great feedback rapid progress becomes possible.