Coaching and Mentoring
Effective Coaching for Managers: Giving Constructive Feedback
An effective manager in a coaching situation should always encourage an individual to make sure that the feedback they get on his or her overall performances comes from multiple sources. This helps the individual to validate the feedback, input and suggestions from the manager and also to maintain an openness to other ideas that they may want to consider from time to time (even when they conflict with the ideas put forward by the manager).
Here are a few specific ways in which the above might be achieved:
- Encourage individuals to always remain open to feedback from others, whatever the source. Feedback can be accepted or rejected after reflection but if anyone takes the trouble to comment, carefully listening to their input is the least they can do.
- Guide people to actively solicit the second or even the third opinion of other team members or colleagues around them to ensure that they do not become over reliant on their own perceptions.
- Where possible, help individuals to solicit feedback from people outside their direct circle of contacts or people (that may not give them a completely unbiased view). This may be suppliers or customers or people with which they deal only occasionally but nonetheless have a useful or valid viewpoint to which it would be valuable to listen.
- Encourage people to carefully listen to the information offered and not to feel negatively judged by it. Get them to accept that their overall competence is not in question and to look for the feedback that is common and that is different and why this might be the case.
- Invite individuals to seek to really understand what other people are saying and to ask for concrete details of the behavior or actions that people are observing that they think could change or improve.
All the above should ideally be offered in a direct and forthright way (both positive and negative) in order to have the optimal impact.
The featured video clip is a short excerpt from the ReadyToManage, Rapid Skill Builder eLearning program, Coaching Skills: An RSB eLearning Course.