Positioning Feedback & Coaching

By
Julie Caspar
|
January 12, 2021

The last two blog entries discussed the critical nature of feedback and coaching, applying it throughout the year in informal as well as formal settings. This entry wraps up feedback and coaching with focus on how the manager can better position both for understanding and acceptance by the employee, furthering the opportunity for enhanced performance capability.

Feedback provides information to an individual on actions and behaviors related to an occurrence or incident that has already occurred. All feedback should incorporate STAFF principles making it specific, timely, accurate, focused and fair. Effective feedback is not always simple and requires practice. One of the more effective yet simpler ways to deliver feedback is to organize the feedback by clearly noting the situation, behavior and impact (S.B.I.), a model created by the Center for Creative Leadership.

Situation: Describes the where, when and who of the situation, placing the feedback within proper context while giving the other person the specific point of reference to which they can recall and relate.

Behavior: Describes the what, outlining the behaviors and actions demonstrated by the employee. Be as specific as possible so the employee has a clear understanding of what he or she did to warrant the feedback.

Impact: Describes why the employee’s behaviors-actions are important enough to be noted along with their impact to the team or others, department and/or organization as well as the employee’s performance plan (if applicable).

Below is an example of feedback given to an employee by a manager using the S.B.I. approach.

Situation: At the CCC client meeting that took place last Monday afternoon,
Behavior:
I observed how the meeting started on time and noticed the materials were distributed to everyone in advance. I was pleased that everyone's questions were answered accurately without pause, showing your knowledge of the subject matter. I also liked the slides in how they showed one example per slide vs. more than one which can distract from the main message.
Impact:
I am happy to tell you because of how the meeting went, we have become the top finalist for the project. I appreciate your hard work, knowledge of the subject matter and positive influence during the meeting.

Adding coaching to the feedback makes the discussion more powerful and meaningful for the employee. Coaching is a different form of teaching by helping the employee discover / uncover answers and solutions through questioning.

Coach: Ask employee questions from different vantage points so the employee may examine situations, circumstances, and outcomes (that went well or did not go well) to help uncover reasons for what happened and formulate ways to resolve issues for a better result or determine ways to maintain or enhance an already good result for the future. The coach guides and helps to establish how the employee will move forward from that point.

Below is an example of what the manager may ask in the above feedback example to further coach and guide the discussion.

Coaching: Tell me - what did you learn from Monday’s meeting? From your perspective, what do you think went well? Why? What do you think could have gone better? Why? What are you going to do for the next presentation and meeting as a result of what happened with Monday’s meeting? What actions will you take for continued improvement?

How the employee answers the questions will determine the manager’s follow-up questions to further the discussion, gaining continued employee input and insight. The manager should also provide suggestions to steer a discussion back on track if needed or provoke further thought and conversation.

Telling or showing a person how to do something is often necessary and important, especially as an introduction to new information or a new skill. However, to fully develop an individual, coaching in combination with feedback and instruction helps the individual better learn the information and will more readily be able to think or accurately troubleshoot on their own; essentially making the person a higher performing employee.

For more information on S.B.I. Feedback, visit the Center for Creative Leadership website at:  The Situation-Behavior-Impact-Feedback Tool - From MindTools.com.

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