A Reader Writes:
As a manager, when I provide constructive feedback, I sometimes get the impression that it hurts my direct reports’ feelings. Any suggestions for how to overcome this challenge?
The Navigator is always encouraged to hear of a manager who is sensitive to their employee’s feelings. (There is hope, yet, for humanity in these dark times!) As a manager with a heart, you struggle with reconciling opposites; the needs of the organization with its quarter close and KPIs, and the needs of a direct report who desires to be recognized for their contributions while maintaining a decent quality of life. The biggest kindness you can extend to your direct report is to be candid about their performance so they can be effective. There is an abundance of published content available to you that can help you improve how you deliver constructive feedback. Useful feedback should be based on performance that you have observed, has an impact on the organization, and suggestions for the future. If your feedback adheres to these parameters and your team member still has hurt feelings, consider this: In the distant future when your direct report thinks back on the days when you were their manager, it is unlikely they will remember your restrained words that spared their feelings. However, if you helped them to recognize hidden strengths and blind spots for improvement, they will always remember you as a key contributor to their success.