Sharing my learnings from the book, Let’s Talk by Therese Huston
Let’s Talk by Therese Huston
Dr. Therese Huston, the founding director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Seattle University, discovered that the key to being listened to is to listen. First, find out what kind of feedback an employee wants most: appreciation, coaching, or evaluation. If they crave one, they’ll be more receptive once their need has been satisfied. Then Huston lays out counterintuitive strategies for delivering each type of feedback successfully, including:
• Start by saying your good intentions out loud: it may feel unnecessary, but it makes all the difference.
• Side with the person, not the problem: a bad habit or behavior is probably less entrenched than you think.
• Give reports a chance to correct inaccurate feedback: they want an opportunity to talk more than they want you to be a good talker.
This handbook will make a once-stressful ordeal feel natural, and, by greasing the wheels of regular feedback conversations, help managers improve performance, trust, and mutual understanding.
- Motivated employees are productive employees, and productive employees make for profitable companies. But how do you stay connected with your team, and ensure their spirits are high? In a nutshell: quality feedback.
- To give effective feedback, think about whether your employee needs appreciation, coaching, or evaluation.
- appreciation – positive recognition. it should be delivered immediately after the event, when it’s still fresh in the memories of you and your employee. This will help reinforce the behavior, and the praise will be most significant in that moment.
- coaching is advice designed to help the other person learn and grow. Good coaching would explain where the employee struggled, and give him advice on how to avoid it next time.
- Evaluation lets the other person know where they stand.
- When giving feedback, adopt a flexible, compassionate, and forgiving mindset.
- when it comes time to start a conversation with an employee, make sure you have a mindset that will allow you to form a connection. In order to achieve this, you’ll need to avoid three common mindset traps.
- delivering a script
- when you find yourself siding with the problem, not the employee.
- forgetting that people can change.
- No matter how strongly you want to do good, you won’t do any if you aren’t open and vocal about wanting your employee to succeed. Don’t assume it’s obvious, and don’t worry if it feels like overkill: start out by letting her know, I’m in your corner.
- Make your good intentions known by spelling out what you want for your employee and acknowledging her worries.
- Here’s the dirty little secret of giving effective feedback: what to say and how to say it is the easy part. The really difficult part about giving feedback is listening.
- The first step to improving how you listen is to understand that there are different types of listening in the first place. What you need here is relational listening – listening to see the other person’s point of view. Think empathy, not judgment.
- Validating feelings doesn’t mean agreeing with the other person, it just means saying you understand where he’s coming from.
- Acknowledge his feelings first, and then you’ll have the trust to go into the rest of your feedback.
- Better praise makes better teams. Be generous with your praise, especially for we-strengths that lift up a team.
- praise more than you feel you should.
- You need to praise the right things.
- a useful framework for this is we-strengths vs. me-strengths. Me-strengths are the work that someone loves to do or think about. In contrast, we-strengths elevate teams and organizations.
- Me-strengths typically don’t need recognition. We-strengths, on the other hand, need to be celebrated again and again.
- Give negative feedback with a growth mindset and in a private setting.
- find an opportunity to give the negative feedback in a one-on-one setting.
- A growth mindset teaches that behaviors can be learned and improved – they’re not unchangeable identities. In this way, you acknowledge the fact that your employee has the potential to change and grow.
- Finish by asking for her thoughts. This will give her a chance to explain herself and lay the groundwork for a solution.
- check in with your team regularly. Don’t worry if you think you’re being redundant or obvious – it’s far more important that everyone knows where they stand at all times. Not only does this make your employees happier, but it also makes your job easier as well, by allowing you to nip issues in the bud before they become major problems.