Sunday, November 15, 2009

Friday's Food for Thought

It's getting worse. Now I'm TWO days late!

Work has got me thinking about delivering and receiving feedback. I work with a few folks who get really mad when they get feedback on their work that is not what the client's want or isn't at the quality standard that we have set. I work with others who crave feedback and feel like they're not getting enough (usually because they're doing what they're supposed to and we're all too busy with the people that need corrective feedback).

I had a situation shortly after I started work at Microsoft where I did some really bad managing of a particular resource on my team. She wasn't doing her job that well, but the way I handled it was really bad. She actually complained to HR, so I had a lot of explaining to do. My manager called me into her office, outlined exactly what I had done that was a problem for HR, then talked to me about what I could do differently and what I could change about my management to completely avoid getting that far down a negative path with anyone in the first place. It was fantastic! I was so grateful that she took the time to help me instead of just telling me what a bad job I did. I learned a lot from that experience and I believe that it shaped me into a much better manager than I ever would have been without that happening. I was so grateful for the whole turn of events once I'd gotten through it.

As hard as it is to take, I'm one who really does want the corrective feedback when I do something wrong. What I wonder is, how do I help others to see that the corrective feedback might be just the thing that takes them from bad to good, or from good to great? This is my new challenge.

How do you feel about getting critical and/or constructive feedback? What makes it work for you or not? I'm really curious.

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