Managers don't know why some of their employees don't do what is expected of them. Parents don't know how distancing begins in their relationship with their children. All of that is related with feedback, you must know how to do it! Richard Williams shows in "Tell me How I'm Doing" how to give and receive it!
The look of this psychologist with vast experience in the business world brings to us some guidelines to implement this culture in our lives.
However, understanding the problem is not the difficult part. The point is: how to solve it? The feedback world is much harder than you think, but in this summary we've separated the main tips to build great relationships and increase your results.
Got interested to become a better leader? Stay with us in this summary and discover how!
"Tell Me How I'm Doing" was published in 2005. From the background in social, organizational, communications psychology, and from his experience as a business consultant, Richard Williams brought to the book the principles, concepts, and practices about feedback.
Feedback is, in a simplified view, the act of conveying an opinion or impression about action to the perpetrator. It is characterized here as a powerful tool for building healthy relationships, both in the personal and professional fields.
Throughout 144 pages, divided between 9 chapters, the author uses a feature that makes reading quite enjoyable and light: a short fictional story involving a running business with manager training.
In this short story, there are some managers who live dramas at work and personal life, and a consultant in charge of training.
Thus, through the consultant's explanations, company's everyday examples, and managers' personal life situations, the reader is introduced to the views defended by the author.
Richard L. Williams has a background in social/organizational psychology and communications, with a PhD in philosophy from Oxford University.
Williams is an internationally known business consultant. He has conducted more than 6, 000 workshops for over 250, 000 executives around the world.
He specializes in topics such as leadership development, performance coaching, quality, improvement process, diagnostic and organizational development.
The book is especially recommended for managers because they constantly have to give and receive feedback to their subordinates.
However, the book itself emphasizes, with examples, that valid concepts, principles, and practices for the relationship between managers and subordinates. It also fits to any other form of relationship in personal life, with children, spouses and friends
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Reporting practical experience, the author shows that we, as humans, have a special need of interaction with the people around us.
When a person is completely ignored by others, because their principles don't matched, that is, without receiving any kind of feedback, they tend to feel initially disoriented and then completely demotivated.
Just as air, water, and food are essential nutrients for the physical body's survival, feedback is a nutrient for the mind.
This fact explains the lack of commitment shown by many employees in the daily lives of companies. By not receiving a satisfactory return from their superiors, the commitment to perform the tasks is affected by the lack of motivation.
Taking feedback as an object of analysis, Richard Williams have identified five basic principles:
Once its importance to the receiver was highlighted, the need for the practice of giving feedback becomes clear. However, Richard Williams says that there are ways and ways to do this, not always with positive results.
There are ten dimensions a manager must consider in order to give good feedback to their employees:
A self-analysis of these ten dimensions allows a person to identify opportunities for improvement in their approaches.
Looking at the question from the point of view of who receives feedback, it is possible to identify the diametrically opposite effects that are produced when feedback is given correctly or not.
Everyone has a kind of inner repository, where they send all the feedback they receive on a daily basis. However, negative feedbacks cause this repository to be emptied, while positive feedbacks contribute to filling it.
It is as if positive returns are negated by negative ones, leaving people with the same emptiness caused by the lack of feedback. And they can come from anyone in our life, including ourselves.
The absence of constructive feedback may be apparent from some typical behaviors. Among the possible signs of deficiency in receiving feedbacks, we can mention:
A person disoriented and unmotivated by the absence of positive feedbacks needs help. Some ways to do this are:
Didactically, feedback can be classified into four possible categories, which are:
Positive feedback is a powerful tool, however many people give insignificant feedback believing that are giving a positive one, meaning they expect the result equivalent to positive feedback.
Positive feedback requires some requirements, such as:
Although positive feedback is focused on a specific issue, an interesting side effect that is often observed is that the person starts to act positively in relation to other aspects that have nothing to do with the former.
There are, however, cases where positive feedback doesn't produce the expected effect. In this case, corrective feedback may be used.
The application of corrective feedback should follow a grading scale in terms of rigidity in the treatment of the problem.
Efficient feedback is a powerful form of communication, enabling people to understand each other. In turn, a mutual understanding between people generate respect and trust.
Conversely, bad feedbacks tend to end relationships between people, and it is up to those who send such feedbacks the role of rebuilding them.
Richard Williams suggests a three-step action as a way to rebuild relationships from feedbacks:
In parallel to presenting the importance of feedback in the professional environment, the book "Tell Me How I'm Doing" builds a parallel plot that involves the application of feedbacks in personal relationships.
Richard Williams suggests that the same difficulties that a person presents regarding feedback in the professional environment will be experienced in the family environment. As a result, overcoming work techniques will also be appropriate at home.
In addition, by achieving more harmony in personal relationships outside the workplace, a professional also becomes more productive within the workplace. It is the side effect of feedbacks, already commented.
In the book "Scaling Up", the author Verne Harnish gives some tips for the pursuit of continuous improvements, such as:
For Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton, authors of the "Now, Discover Your Strengths", to increase company productivity, the key is to focus on employees' strengths rather than trying to improve weaknesses.
Finally, in "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team", the author Patrick Lencioni states that a lack of trust in a team makes it difficult to share individual weaknesses and vulnerabilities, which compromises the effective development of the group.
Are you ready to develop your relationships and consequently leverage your results? Did you find this content useful? Start applying these lessons now and leave your feedback in the comments!
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