Sunday, February 19, 2012

Annual Career Message – “Where’s the Gift?”

“Can you believe I got a 2 on the “Communication” competency on my review and he couldn’t even explain what it is I don’t do properly?” Sound familiar? I hear it every year, so every year I re-publish this “Where’s the Gift?” posting.
It’s February. Plus or minus a few weeks and many people will sit with their boss and have a performance review discussion. Hopefully this was preceded by many candid conversations and career exploratory talks. While we will all be focused on the numbers or ratings, I’d encourage you to look for the real gift in the discussion – those 1 or 2 things you can do differently or better to really excel your performance. Nigel J.A. Bristow (“Where's the Gift? How to achieve phenomenal success by discovering the gift in all feedback”) shares that we often are not looking for the gift, sometimes do not like the way it is wrapped or we find it hard to identify in the packaging.

The two worst types of feedback are “you’re doing great, keep doing what you’re doing” or “you need to step it up” but without anything specific to improve. We need to want candid feedback. If your boss does not automatically provide it, ask for your “gift”. Just as important and as uncomfortable as it may seem, we need to make sure we make bosses feel the feedback is desired and we are going to do something with it.

How do you make sure you get real performance feedback?


Ignacio Santiago said...

It is best to lead by example: Compassion can be a good start, you also get feedback from your boss. Speak up without hurting people, try to be fair. This is not easy ... ask your boss clearly what skills and competencies need improvement. In the message to her boss ask her to need to hear honesty and sincerity in his words. Although it hurts....

David Engle said...

If you openly ask for constructive criticism you'll probably get it. If you openly talk to you boss about your "weaknesses" and ask for help and support in strengthening them - then I'm pretty sure you'll keep getting the gifts and the support to make a difference.
Don't be ashamed of the things you can do better in life!

Tate90 said...

Thanks for the good post!!

I also agree to Santiago, that we need to be a good example first. We should not ask for things we don't give already. We should praise people openly and in front of others regularly, and always show when we see something good in others, or when others succeed.

Talking about criticizing others, we have to be very sensitive. If we know certain people would not except it anyways, maybe we just keep quite up to a certain degree. And if we criticize, we always need to make sure the other person knows, why we do it and that it is actually an act of love.

After living this lifestyle it is that we can ask others to give us feedback because we are still not where we want to be and we are in need of continuous improvement, and this we cannot do alone!

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