Going back to school for coaching and feedback
Openness and Trust
One of the best ways to improve results is through coaching and feedback. Often, our biggest barriers to success are fairly easy to overcome – but they can also be unknown. That’s where coaching and feedback comes in – it’s a great way for colleagues to help you uncover hidden behaviors, and see beyond your filters.
Unfortunately, feedback is often lacking in many organizations, and Ohio State isn’t any different: On the 2011 Staff Survey, only 43.3 percent of staff reported receiving high levels of coaching and feedback (there isn’t data for faculty since those surveys focused on drivers of satisfaction specific to faculty).
Being an institution of higher learning, we’re focused on lessons, and sharing knowledge. Here are ten lessons that can help increase coaching and feedback, and thus results.
- Feedback doesn't happen unless you make it happen.
- People tend to stop giving feedback over time, even if they once did it frequently.
- It is easier to give appreciative feedback than it is to deliver constructive feedback.
- People often do not act on feedback without some sort of follow-up.
- It is easier to filter feedback than to accept it.
- People more fully appreciate the feedback they receive after they have applied it and seen its impact on their results.
- Feedback declines after people improve because they assume it's no longer necessary.
- People struggle to know how to respond to the feedback they receive.
- People typically fear receiving constructive feedback because they see it as criticism rather than helpful input.
- Organizations always underestimate the difficulty of getting people to give and receive feedback (Connors & Smith, p. 184-185*).
Which of these lessons can help you approach coaching and feedback in a more effective way? Select one or two, and develop actions that will increase your level of coaching and feedback. For example, you can include coaching and feedback on your performance evaluation to create ongoing accountability (No. 1), or follow up with the person who offered you feedback to show how it’s increased your results (No. 6). For me, I avoid being “mean” by offering constructive feedback, so I am focusing on how NOT doing so does my colleagues a disservice (No. 3).
It can be hard to offer and receive coaching and feedback – people are afraid feedback won’t be received well, and no one likes to hear what they’re doing wrong. Fortunately, with the right mindset and a little practice, you can become a pro at offering and receiving feedback. Use this peer coaching guide on coaching and feedback to perfect your skills.
Do you have a tip on how to effectively offer or receive feedback? How has feedback helped you increase results? Let us know in the comments section.
*Connors, R. & Smith, T. (2009). How did that happen: holding people accountable for results the positive, principled way. New York: Penguin Group.