Bob and Alex are both snowed in and take the time to chat about assessments. Bob suggests that in the past we probably had a switch on the sides of out heads since we so freely create feedback. Getting better at this can be learned. There are good habits that should be reinforced, the most basic of which is not giving feedback only once a year. There should no surprises in annual performance reviews.
When giving feedback to an emotional person, consider waiting until another time…if the person is normally not this emotional. If they are normally highly emotional, you often have to walk them very diligently because no other time will be any better than the present.
There are also people that stand by the argument that they are blameless. Bob suggests that a very useful opening line is “Are you open for some feedback?” Even coming from a position of power, that request for permission can create an openness on their part to hear the message. Alex says that location is a key, pointing out that a glass walked conference room may be among the worst as others walk by noticing who;s in there. Bob says this can be used as earlier as coaching children by putting your “finger in the dirt”.
As much as some leaders have to learn how to give feedback, a much broader segment including those leaders have to learn how to receive feedback. The use of assessment circles is an opportunity to practice recognizing how you feel and to observe how others react.
There is also an interesting discussion on the perception of whether or not busy people “multitasking” is a good thing. Being present, open, and connected is a key to having a great listening skills.