One of the most difficult tasks for a manager to handle is giving appropriate feedback. The urge to avoid problems and employee outbursts is prevalent among nice-guy managers. Authoritarian types go the other direction and rant and rave over the smallest mistakes, while ignoring excellence and positive changes. Effectively learning to communicate with your employees immediately leads to performance improvement. It’s well worth the time and effort to get a handle on better feedback techniques.
Self-Evaluating Your Communication Style
It’s difficult to be your own judge. It’s harder to see our own faults, at times, than anyone else’s or correctly judge how you come across to others. The easiest way to run a self-assessment is asking your employees to complete an anonymous survey of your skills. Their comments may surprise you.
Questions should be as focused on your feedback style as possible. Ask not only how you interact with the person in question, but how they perceive your skills in terms of other workers. Without knowing it, you could be playing favorites or venting on a handful of workers. You may also be perceived as a pushover, which is often worse for a team than being too critical.
Seeking Professional Guidance
If you aren’t sure how to respond to the results you receive or the assessment doesn’t go off as you planned, you may want to enlist the help of a performance coach. These kinds of people train you to communicate with your employees in ways they will appreciate and understand. Get performance improvement by learning to speak your workers’ language.
While the solutions presented may seem foreign at first, they can often be worked into any management style without feeling uncomfortable. Your employees may test your new style but stay committed and accept the new you. More effective communication means they will also respect you more too.
Employees look to management to show them what to do in times of crisis. It’s also management’s job to keep operations running smoothly. You can’t do that without addressing problems and encouraging positive activities to continue. Engage in professional coaching to discover better ways of sharing your thoughts and concerns. Once you’ve established healthier methods of communicating with your team, you’ll watch performance improvement occur without personal conflicts arising.
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