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Giving Feedback and the Performance Review…

February 16, 2015


A couple of weeks ago the New York Times had an article called, “No Need to Be Afraid. It’s Only a Performance Review.” about the impact of feedback vs. a performance review.

The overall concept that I took away was the need to give and seek feedback frequently.  Waiting until a review or not giving feedback at all, can have a negative or limiting effect on both my ability to lead and the ability of our staff to grow.

“Although we need three kinds of feedback, we don’t need evaluations that often,” said Ms. Heen, who is also a lecturer at Harvard Law School. “Coaching, however, should be happening day in and day out. If you’re clear you’re coaching and not evaluating, it lowers the stakes.”

Because, too often, as employees, we only hear the evaluation. “It’s like getting a paper back in high school,” she said. “The first thing you do is look at the grade, not the comments on the paper. The evaluation tends to drown out everything else.”

In practice, what I have found is that once it’s an “evaluation” the discussion moves from the depth of feedback and lands squarely on the “score”.  In Michigan, teachers and administrators are placed into 4 rating categories – Highly Effective, Effective, Minimally Effective and Ineffective.  They all come with loaded notions of what they mean to an individual – and some come with legislated consequences.  I understand performance evaluations are an important part of managing organizations, however, frequent and specific feedback are an even more important aspect of leading an organization.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 16, 2015 8:29 am

    Spot on!


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