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from swerve of shore to bend of bay

links for 2010-03-04

  • Feedback is best when provided as close to the moment of performance as possible, as shown in studies involving everyone from medical students to athletes. A Corporate Leadership Council performance management study found that frequent, fair and accurate informal feedback could impact individual performance by 39%.

    But lengthy feedback forms discourage frequent and immediate responses. In addition, more and more employees work remotely, and may not have daily or even frequent interaction with their manager. Enabling employees to solicit feedback in short, immediate bursts may actually be more effective than performance reviews or lengthy feedback systems, since excessive feedback can be overwhelming and hinder performance.

  • The key is to politely demand self-assessment and review. Ask people to present three sets of correspondence that demonstrate how well they've used the medium to manage successful outcomes. In other words, have them select examples illustrating their own email "best practices" for results. You, and they, will find this review and prioritization process revealing. Culling their email correspondence is a wonderful way for individuals to remember and reconnect with what they think works and what doesn't. Your ability to weigh their self-assessed success with your own experiences gives this simple technique particular power.

    At one project review, every single example selected by one manager featured brief emails with large reports or presentations attached. Email wasn't a medium of communication; it was a mechanism for referral.

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