Feedback is a gift
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THIS TITLE is not an oxymoron.

I’m writing this article for two critical reasons: First, feedback is required for us to improve performance. Second, most supervisors cringe at the thought of providing performance feedback to employees. And it gets worse. I’ve talked with numerous employees from multiple dealerships who have not received a formal evaluation during their years of employment.

We use feedback so silently every day that we fail to recognize its importance. Without using feedback, you would not be able to leave your house and arrive at your dealership. Actually, without using feedback you wouldn’t be able to leave the house. You would be in a constant state of “I don’t know where I am.” We’ve all been lost in strange places and it’s not a comfortable feeling. Feedback was not telling us where to go.

Let’s consider the fact that the number one responsibility of a supervisor is to develop their talent. Let me ask you: How are you or your people going to improve without feedback? It’s not going to happen. I’m committed to improve my golf skills and I keep several metrics throughout every round. I want to see my progress.

Here’s part of the problem. I’ve asked literally thousands of people if the word “feedback” has a positive or negative connotation? The overwhelming response is negative. We are hard-wired to avoid the negative. Therefore, if a leader believes it’s negative, well… you know the rest of the story.

Now, this is an oxymoron. Literally thousands of supervisors have told me they want their people to grow and to be even better than the supervisor, which is being a people-smart leader. Do you think those employees are going to improve their performance in a vacuum? Obviously not.

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Western Equipment Dealer Magazine Winter 2018 Issue
By Larry Cole, PhD

 

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