Leaders everywhere are begging for higher performance from their teams. And yet, would it surprise you to learn that many leaders are sabotaging their team’s performance with their current methods?
Somewhere, somehow, bosses learned that in an effort to get people to improve they should: 1) Point out what others are doing wrong, and 2) Provide specific feedback only in the annual performance review.
It’s crazy: Imagine you are a parent: How much sense would it make if you only provided your children feedback once a year? And, when you did provide them such information you focused on everything they were doing wrong.
What would you expect for behavior from children exposed to such an approach? Would you volunteer to babysit them?
The brain is a brain, whether it’s in a child or an adult. This means you can guarantee: It goes towards its focus. This is why legendary football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant, would rarely stop the game film when his players were making mistakes. He reasoned: Why program their minds to reinforce what you don’t want to have happen? Instead, his players could count on watching (and watching again) those moments when their performance was strong.
Additionally, timely feedback is crucial. “In the moment” feedback propels performance forward immediately. For example, “John, by delivering the project today instead of tomorrow, you put us on a pace to hit our Q1 target. Thank you.”
When feedback is sincere (your mean it), specific (focused on the details of excellence), and selective (timely), every day is filled with powerful performance enhancer moments. (From our book, Stomp the Elephant in the Office)
The question is: Are you willing to seize those moments or do you just want to talk about it at the end of the year?