Tag Archives: feedback

Are you too busy to learn? 

too busy

 

I have just read about how Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, showed off his newly acquired mastery of Mandarin during a 30-minute Q&A at Tsinghua University in Beijing.  It seems incredible that someone as busy as he must surely be has found the time to dedicate himself to this feat of learning.   

 

Learn ‘on-the-job’ 

Talking to our clients regarding leadership development we are prepared for the “we’re too busy to do this” reaction.  We have seen that there is increasing emphasis on providing easily accessible skill development, which can be effectively woven into the day-to-day jobs of busy employees.  Time out of the office for training is a seen as a ‘luxury’ few can afford.  The emphasis is now shifting to identifying development needs in smaller bite-size chunks and then focussing on opportunities to implement learning actions within the normal day’s workload.  Any time. Any place. Any where.

Test your new skills

Consciously testing the use of a new behaviour in ‘real’ situations will also give an immediate sense of the impact.  If colleagues are also aware of the development focus they can also give real-time feedback as to whether the behaviour was applied appropriately. If the outcome is positive that behaviour is more likely to be reinforced and retained.

For example: if you want to develop your use of ‘empathy’: in meetings practise asking open questions, encourage discussion and increase participation from everyone.  Clarify your understanding and encourage others to do the same. The impact of this will be evident immediately and practice will also increase the positive gains.

Feedback 

The principles of social media mean that the modern workforce is acclimatising to more open feedback and more direct interaction.  The development provided by my360plus is based entirely on these principles.  Suggestions for development are clear and targeted and colleagues are guided in how they can support. There is also a professional advisor available to consult if required if a particular concept is not fully understood.

So….are you too busy to learn?

Read More
Can a 360 degree feedback tool really have impact?

feedback 360So what typically happens when you receive your feedback report or appraisal? You read it through, finding some parts interesting, some parts flattering, and noting some areas you could improve on.  Intentions are good.

However, all too often, the report is then put to one side. Within days it is buried, forgotten, and no further action is taken.  There is no impact from that.

This is what sets the my360plus feedback tool apart from a plain old 360.  As an online leadership development system, you get your report, you read it, it makes sense and it clearly explained what happens next.  Development areas are highlighted and actions to change behaviours are then made immediately ‘live’.  The language used is plain, clear and you are put into the driving seat of your own development.

There is now a wealth of resources and development material made available at your fingertips.  You move forward with developing key behaviours using live social feedback. This is achieved by sharing your goals, and selecting a few key peers to act as your mentors.  They are told by the system what to look out for and how they can support you to improve your use of the high performance leadership behaviours.  Real world research show that this approach maximises the chance of you reaching your development goals, and in the process encourages and develops a coaching culture.

There is no requirement to take additional time out of the office to attend training courses.  You develop ‘on the job’.  You steer your own development, feedback continues to be live and you can track your progress.  It really is a very straightforward and easy tool to use.

“I am really excited that something so simple will have such a large impact on our leadership population and the effects will then ripple down all levels of the organisation.”  Alina Sandell,  Head of Talent and Transformation

My360plus is a rounded tool, focussing on strengths as well as limitations. Alina Sandell also said “One of the things about this tool is that it also highlights what people are really good at, the things that energise them, that motivate them.  Helping people to build on that is going to bring huge returns of investment to the individual, their engagement, but also for the organisation”.

If you would like to organise a demo to see in just a few minutes what our innovative, robust and proven 360 feedback tool can do for you, for your team, or for your organisation please book one now at a time to suit you.

 

Read More
Top ten tips on receiving feedback…even Brad Pitt needs these!

feedback “I phoned my grandparents and my grandfather said ‘We saw your movie.’ ‘Which one?’ I said. He shouted ‘Betty, what was the name of that movie I didn’t like?’”

‘Constructive’ feedback happens to even the Brad Pitts of this world! The impact of social media is transforming our society into a community where we more readily share news and invite opinions.  This more open environment also means that both giving and receiving feedback is becoming the ‘norm’.  We have commented before in how to give feedback effectively, but here are our top ten tips on how should we act when we are on the receiving end:

  1. Be prepared.  If you feel emotional, cool down before you sit down.
  2. Be receptive. Make it as painless as possible for the other person.  Assume good intentions.
  3. Clarify. If you don’t fully understand the point that is being raised, question it and ask for more examples.  Summarize and reflect what you hear.
  4. Be open.  Don’t shut down and stop listening.  If the feedback is given correctly it will be constructive.  If feedback is objective, appropriate and useful, and you act upon it, it will help you do your job better.
  5. Listen!  Don’t argue with the feedback or defend yourself.  Understand that the comments given are someone else’s perspective.  You don’t have to agree with it, but you do have to understand the reasoning.
  6. See it as an opportunity, not a threat.  Good feedback is based upon behaviours that can be changed or improved.  Seize the opportunity for behavioural development.
  7. AID: Be specific and remember
    • ACTION:   what did I do?
    • IMPACT: what impact did it have?
    • DO DIFFERENTLY: what needs to be done next time?
  8. Focus on the future.  Ask for specific advice on what to do differently/ less of/ more of going forward.  Ask open questions: “How could I have done this better?”  “What could I do differently?”
  9. Review.  Agree actions and timelines. Focus on the way forward and let them know you are committed to improve. Follow up and review progress.
  10. Thank the person giving you feedback.  Let them know you valued their thoughts.

If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” John Wooden (UCLA head coach)

 

Read More
my360plus at LETG Awards 2013. Leadership Skills for Lawyers needed now!

LETG LogoWe are really proud that as a result of a highly successful 360 leadership development programme with law firm, Stevens and Bolton, my360plus was highly commended as part of the “Best Training Programme” at the Legal Education and Training Group Awards held recently in London.

The award citation mentions that “the impact of the programme is already evident with greater business development activity being seen across the firm”.

In addition, it states that the programme acted as “a trigger for greater openness in sharing of ideas and led to the instigation of informal peer mentoring within the leadership group”.

Leadership skills are needed now more than ever in practice. As well as the tough economic times all businesses have been facing, the legal profession is right in the midst of unprecedented change.  Competition is fierce, driving down fees; the Legal Services Act is changing the way firms structure themselves; clients are becoming better informed and more and more sophisticated; technology is changing virtually every aspect of how services are delivered and a new generation of lawyers are approaching partnership with different aspirations and ideas.

What distinguishes an exceptional lawyer from a good one, apart from their legal skills, is their ability to deal with all this change.  Particularly the sheer speed at which change is happening as well as the myriad of things lawyers need to be taking on board when making decisions. Leadership skills for lawyers focuses on the skills necessary to succeed and thrive during uncertain times.

Many lawyers still spend their professional lives not getting much in the way of feedback.  They are either constantly told how wonderful they are (as long as the billable hours are good) or they are ‘bypassed’ for promotion to Partner without much explanation and often move on without knowing what else they could have done.

The my360plus tool is a really innovative approach helping lawyers develop their leadership skills and deal with this change.  It starts with feedback from colleagues in the things that matter and make a difference, but it doesn’t stop there.  It serves up practical ideas on what to do to improve, as well as the ability to enter into an on-going dialogue with colleagues to support leadership development goals.

It was this innovative but practical approach that was recognised by the LETG Awards. It is playing a vital part in broadening leadership skills as well as the fostering of greater openness, sharing and informal mentoring within law firms.

Change will bring opportunity especially for those firms focused on nurturing talent.  Development through the giving and receiving of feedback will provide competitive advantage for those firms that embrace it.  For more information on an innovative, proven and affordable 360 leadership development programme please do contact us.

Read More
Building a feedback culture at work: ten ways to achieve effective feedback

Feedback 3

Feedback is a vital performance management tool yet most managers don’t like giving feedback, do it ineffectively or don’t do it at all. Why is this?

  • Often it’s because a manager doesn’t have the right skills to give feedback effectively, therefore fears some sort of backlash.
  • Often there isn’t a culture of excellence that makes regular feedback at work the norm. Many managers haven’t experienced good feedback themselves and don’t know what it looks like. “Well done,” is nice to hear – but isn’t useful feedback.
  • Managers may be reluctant to take responsibility for their team members’ performance so they don’t value feedback at work as a management tool.

Without effective 360 feedback at work, individuals have no hope of knowing what they’re doing well, what they need to do more of or less of. Performance will inevitably suffer and employee engagement and morale will drop

So what does effective feedback at work look like?

  1. Regular: every day even. If you wait until a project or task is finished it may be too late to keep performance high and you’ve lost a chance to boost the individual’s skills and confidence.  It is definitely not ok to only give feedback once or twice a year in a performance appraisal. Aim to make feedback part of your team’s culture… and watch performance improve.
  2. Factual: Hearsay, rumour or third party reporting can be disputed and can disrupt a positive feedback environment. You always need the facts, first hand.
  3. Specific: “Well done” tells the individual little. Which bit was well done? What made it well done? Why was it well done? To keep it specific, try using the simple mnemonic AID. Action: What the individual has actually done. Stick to the facts. Impact: The effect the individual’s actions have/had/could have. Do/Do differently: What needs to be done – more or less of the same? Or something different altogether?
  4. It focuses on behaviour and actions, not personality, attitude or character ie it is objective not subjective. Avoid, “You did that badly” or “you’re no good at…”. Instead suggest an action which could be improved: “That could be more effective if the xyz was deployed more quickly” or “What would have to change to make sure xyz didn’t happen next time?”
  5. It involves the individual and gives them responsibility for their actions. If you ask them “How do you think that went?” you will usually find they know what went well and what didn’t go well. Then you can coach them to identify ways to improve it for next time. If they are overly self-critical you have the pleasant task of explaining, using AID perhaps, why their performance was better than they thought. If they’ve missed something out, you can ask about a specific aspect of the task, “And what about xyz?” Give them a chance to tell you what they already think. Use coaching techniques where possible.
  6. It is often positive. Remember to give people feedback at work when they’re doing something well – not just when they’re doing something performance-limiting. It is just as important that people understand when and why they’re doing something useful and effective (AID is still appropriate). It makes people feel valued and reinforces effective behaviour.
  7. It doesn’t rely on the ‘feedback sandwich’: Positive/Negative/Positive does not always work. At best it can dilute the message; at worst it can leave the individual confused about what the key feedback actually is. If you need to feedback about something that didn’t go well, it is probably worth focusing on that issue on that occasion.
  8. It is timely and carried out in an appropriate location. This might mean it is done straightaway while the action is still fresh. Alternatively it may be more effective a few hours or a day or two later so that all parties are in the best emotional state to remain objective and effective. Allocate enough time, choose an undisturbed, quiet location, perhaps on neutral territory if it is likely to be a difficult conversation.
  9. It is a two- way street. Don’t wait for someone to give you feedback – ask for it. Make it easy for people to feel comfortable giving you feedback by asking, “What could I do more of/less of? What should I stop doing/start doing? What could I do differently?” If you hear something you weren’t expecting or difficult, you don’t have to react straightaway. Say something along the lines of, “Thanks for telling me that. I need to think about that. Can I get back to you in a few hours/days?”
  10. It is properly managed: it should be aligned to performance goals and reviewed. Show how the feedback can help them reach their goals and targets. If you give some feedback that prompts a change in behaviour, follow up on it to review progress.

Done regularly and effectively, feedback at work can be recognised as an opportunity, not a threat. People will be happy to take the rough with the smooth when they know that feedback is objective, appropriate and useful, designed to help them do their job better.

Read More
A Partner’s view – our 360 leadership development product

We asked Bob Hughes, Chairman, The Forton Group, about his experiences of working with our 360 leadership development product.

How has the support you”ve had during your time working with my360plus been?

Bob HughesBob: The support is one of the many strong points about our relationship. You’ve been very quick to respond at all sorts of hours of the day and night and weekend. When things have gone wrong you’ve been very quick to move to fix them. I’ve felt very well supported.

What separates my360plus from their competitors in terms of the product?

Bob: “Two main things: The first is the research behind the tool. That doesn’t necessarily make it unique as there is lots of research behind many tools out there, however, that narrows the field down to a handful of organisations I want to work with.

The second thing for me is the design quality of the product. By that I mean two things: the first is the quality of the questions that are asked to get to the competencies in a way that means that people not familiar with the competencies will still give more accurate answers because the questions have been crafted so well.

The second aspect in terms of design is the look and feel of the product, the online version of it, the ability to see things online and work with it online. Also the on-going support people get and the ability to have their goals monitored and championed by their reviewers is a real USP.”

How do you think this product applies to smaller one-on-one situations in comparison to the larger role out situations?

Bob: “Either work well. We work with these people one on one after we’ve done the group exercises but it enables the organisation to be able to look at trends across an organisation and therefore make the right interventions to develop the right competencies that a) the organisation needs and b) it doesn’t have a lot of.

From an organisational point of view it’s very useful and from an individual level it gives them the opportunity to develop themselves and gives the coach some real ammunition to work with when they start the coaching sessions.”

Do you think someone could use my360plus as a standalone product without a consultant?

Bob: “I don’t see why not. We all get a bit precious about our skills sometimes and I think we’re working with leaders that are intelligent. If it gives them some insight themselves that’s fine. I know that they’ll get even more benefit from it if they combined it with coaching but I know we’d be arrogant to say we’re the only people who have the answers.

What that will do is open their minds to the value of feedback and that will open their minds to the value of coaching.”

What value does the 360 feedback product add to the consultant?

Bob: “It gives added focus. I’ve been happy to coach people with/without an 360 degree assessment tool. What it does give you is a good and useful starting point for conversations.”

Is this part of your current offer?

Bob: “Yes. Many organisations understand the value of 360 degree assessments and they like the tangible nature of it.  It genuinely does add value to the whole process of development centres and development opportunities because of that focus and because of the background research on where leadership can improve.”

What could be changed about the process of taking a my360plus survey?

Bob: “We’ve had no complaints whatsoever!”

forton logoThe Forton Group are a my360plus Partner.  They have worked with us with a number of their clients including a deployment to over 30 countries on 4 continents.

Read More
What Does Effective Feedback for Employees Look Like?

Feedback is a vital performance management tool yet most managers don’t like giving feedback, do it ineffectively or don’t do it at all. Why is this?

  • Often it’s because a manager doesn’t have the right skills to give feedback effectively, therefore fears some sort of backlash.
  • Often there isn’t a culture of excellence that makes regular feedback the norm. Many managers haven’t experienced good feedback themselves and don’t know what it looks like. “Well done,” is nice to hear – but isn’t useful feedback.
  • Managers may be reluctant to take responsibility for their team members’ performance so they don’t value feedback as a management tool.

Without effective feedback, individuals have no hope of knowing what they’re doing well, what they need to do more of or less of. Performance will inevitably suffer and employee engagement and morale will drop
So what does effective feedback for employees look like?

  1. Regular: every day even. If you wait until a project or task is finished it may be too late to keep performance high and you’ve lost a chance to boost the individual’s skills and confidence. It is definitely not ok to only give feedback once or twice a year in a performance appraisal. Aim to make feedback part of your team’s culture… and watch performance improve.
  2. Factual: Hearsay, rumour or third party reporting can be disputed and can disrupt a positive feedback environment. You always need the facts, first hand.
  3. Specific: “Well done” tells the individual little. Which bit was well done? What made it well done? Why was it well done? To keep it specific, try using the simple mnemonic AID. Action: What the individual has actually done. Stick to the facts. Impact: The effect the individual’s actions have/had/could have. Do/Do differently: What needs to be done – more or less of the same? Or something different altogether?
  4. It focuses on behaviour and actions, not personality, attitude or character ie it is objective not subjective. Avoid, “You did that badly” or “you’re no good at…”. Instead suggest an action which could be improved: “That could be more effective if the xyz was deployed more quickly” or “What would have to change to make sure xyz didn’t happen next time?”
  5. It involves the individual and gives them responsibility for their actions. If you ask them “How do you think that went?” you will usually find they know what went well and what didn’t go well. Then you can coach them to identify ways to improve it for next time. If they are overly self-critical you have the pleasant task of explaining, using AID perhaps, why their performance was better than they thought. If they’ve missed something out, you can ask about a specific aspect of the task, “And what about xyz?” Give them a chance to tell you what they already think. Use coaching techniques where possible.
  6. It is often positive. Remember to give people feedback when they’re doing something well – not just when they’re doing something performance-limiting. It is just as important that people understand when and why they’re doing something useful and effective (AID is still appropriate). It makes people feel valued and reinforces effective behaviour.
  7. It doesn’t rely on the ‘feedback sandwich’: Positive/Negative/Positive does not always work. At best it can dilute the message; at worst it can leave the individual confused about what the key feedback actually is. If you need to feedback about something that didn’t go well, it is probably worth focusing on that issue on that occasion.
  8. It is timely and carried out in an appropriate location. This might mean it is done straightaway while the action is still fresh. Alternatively it may be more effective a few hours or a day or two later so that all parties are in the best emotional state to remain objective and effective. Allocate enough time, choose an undisturbed, quiet location, perhaps on neutral territory if it is likely to be a difficult conversation.
  9. It is a two- way street. Don’t wait for someone to give you feedback – ask for it. Make it easy for people to feel comfortable giving you feedback by asking, “What could I do more of/less of? What should I stop doing/start doing? What could I do differently?” If you hear something you weren’t expecting or difficult, you don’t have to react straightaway. Say something along the lines of, “Thanks for telling me that. I need to think about that. Can I get back to you in a few hours/days?”
  10. It is properly managed: it should be aligned to performance goals and reviewed. Show how the feedback can help them reach their goals and targets. If you give some feedback that prompts a change in behaviour, follow up on it to review progress.

Done regularly and effectively, feedback can be recognised as an opportunity, not a threat. People will be happy to take the rough with the smooth when they know that feedback is objective, appropriate and useful, designed to help them do their job better.

Read More