As a team leader you have an enormous responsibility to help your team learn, grow and perform. You can provide training that will introduce them to new skills. But training by itself will not make much of a difference in their performance. In fact, our research shows that only 1-in-5 people change their behavior from training alone. For new skills to become habitual and turn into new performance, they must be applied on the job, coached, encouraged, reinforced and rewarded. This is where you come in as a leader…
Situational leadership training provides excellent models for providing effective coaching and feedback according to the style and readiness level of individual followers. In general, complimentary feedback is easy to give and a pleasure to receive. When a job is well done, say so! Be specific!
However, when a job is not well done and there are behavioral or performance issues to address, feedback is often difficult to give and, very likely, unwelcome. It is your job as a leader to see that team members meet expectations. To do this, they need to know where they stand. Giving clear, constructive feedback is critical to their success and your success. And it should be done immediately, specifically and privately in a tone that is not threatening but encourages further effort and promises support.
When giving negative feedback as a leader:
- Ask for permission to give feedback
- Stick to the facts. Do not jump to conclusions or make faulty assumptions
- Be specific about the behavior change that you want to see, why and by when