Woman Looking at Document

Development vs. Performance Management

I recently had similar conversations with two different clients about using 360 survey data for the purpose of professional development vs. performance management. This is a relatively common issue that comes up. Most of the people we work directly with understand the distinction and the implications, but sometimes another individual in the organization is pushing for something that can conflate the two. In particular, we see professional development initiatives turning into performance management efforts. Because our primary focus at LearningBridge is on professional development, we are sensitive to the potential recasting of development data as performance data. Survey tools used […]

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How to Receive Feedback Graciously and Act on It Visibly

The week after my last article, “What is Your Best Advice for Me?” was published, my 11-year-old son and I did a short overnight backpacking trip. He was excited about sleeping in his hammock and using his new backpack. On the way up, a moose crossed the trail about 15 feet in front of us (I was glad it crossed and kept going). About that time, we turned on our headlamps to continue the last quarter mile of the hike. Aside from the moose, nothing major occurred, except for a conversation I had with my son the next morning. This […]

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What Is Your Best Advice for Me?

When we work with clients on their own custom professional development survey, they often ask for our advice on survey items. In seeking our input, the easiest point for us to address is about potential open-ended questions. In most cases, an excellent choice is to ask something like, “What is your best advice for me to succeed in my role?” The Value of Asking for “Advice” What we have found from using the word “advice” rather than something more like “What would help me succeed in my role?” is that it is easier for the person to respond honestly. After […]

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Two Businessmen Talking

Do You Know What Is Expected of You?

“Do you feel like you know what is expected of you?” That is one of my favorite questions to ask employees because it can lead to a lot of clarity. First, I should acknowledge that I encountered this question while reading, How to be a Great Boss, by Gino Wickman. While I appreciated the whole book, this one question alone made the time investment worthwhile. It also introduced me to another one of his books, Traction, which I also recommend (but that is another story). Benefits of Asking When you ask an employee, “Do you feel like you know what […]

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Junior and Senior Employees

Timing Feedback for Junior Employees

Early in my career, I had four consecutive bosses comment, “I need another Michael.” I took that as a real compliment and very much appreciated it; however, my one complaint—especially with the first boss to say it—was regarding the timing. In that particular case, I was a research assistant to a professor in my second year of grad school. The year was almost over, and I was about to graduate with my master’s degree in information science. The professor made this comment to the department secretary who would be helping him find a new research assistant for the next year. […]

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Woman Working on Documents

How to Explore, Share, and Act on Feedback – Part 3

Act on Feedback We have discussed how to explore and share feedback. Now it is time to act on the feedback. In Part 2 of this article, we discussed sharing your feedback with others. The act of sharing is the first step in acting on the results; however, it is not enough to make a meaningful difference. Others, particularly those who gave you feedback and those with whom you shared your results, should also see some change and growth in you. That doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. The fact that you met with somebody and discussed your results is a win […]

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Two Sitting Men Talking

How to Explore, Share, and Act on Feedback – Part 2

Exploring Leads to Sharing In Part 1 of this article, which focused on exploring feedback, we provided some tips about how to get comfortable with the feedback and not be too defensive. As you explore and learn about your feedback, it will naturally lead you toward sharing the results with others. Whom should you share your results with and how should you do it? Whom Should You Share Your Results with? Whom you should share your results with will vary somewhat from person to person; however, there are questions you can ask yourself to help you make that determination. Just be […]

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Mother and Daughter Holding Hands

How to Explore, Share, and Act on Feedback – Part 1

My mom recently told me something that my siblings and I did during a very difficult time in her life that apparently left more of an impression on her than it did me. She was in her room, and the five of us kids walked in together, lined up from the oldest, who was about 15 years old, to the youngest, who was 9. My mom looked at us all, wondering what was going on. My sister, who was the oldest, spoke, “Mom, we’ve been talking, and we’ve decided that you need to go for a walk.” This wasn’t exactly […]

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Two Business Women Talking

Six Guiding Principles for Receiving Feedback

A lot of attention is given on how to provide feedback to other people, but less attention is given to how we should receive the feedback to help us improve. The following are six guiding principles that can help us receive feedback given to us. These principles can be applied to most situations in which you receive feedback. Use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to accept and act on feedback by sharing with others. Don’t take it personally, make it useful. Keep in mind your current responsibilities and career objectives as you consider what feedback matters most. […]

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A woman with spinach in her teeth

Why Does Feedback Matter?

Ignorance Is Not Bliss Have you ever looked in the mirror and discovered a little piece of spinach stuck in your teeth and then thought, “Has that been there since lunch? I’ve been talking to people all afternoon. Why didn’t anybody tell me about it?” If somebody had told you earlier that there was spinach in your teeth, it would have been an embarrassing moment; however, it would have been less painful than the thought that the spinach had been there during all of your conversations and meetings. Ultimately you would be grateful that the person cared enough to let […]

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