Every soul is potentially divine and all of us are born genius, but some people fail to recognize the genius in them and lead a mediocre life. We live in a competitive world where collective performances drive success, happiness and emotional engagement with organizations. As the world gears up to scale new heights, human capital is taking centre stage and playing a pivotal role in ensuring greater value to the customers and enabling in creating stickiness.
People can’t succeed in their career unless they know the areas they are doing well, so they can keep on doing those things, and areas they need to improve upon to deliver better results.
For many employees it can be a case of ‘No news is good news’, as they only get to hear something when things go wrong. Feedback is extremely critical for improving and perfecting performance, but if provided in a constructive way, it can act as a highly motivational and life changing exercise.
There are many ways of engaging and developing talent in organizations. Performance Management System is one of the most trusted way, an organization can measure and evaluate best performance practices and support future development of its people. Every professional needs to know where he/she stands, with regard to their job performance. While every individual awaits his/her performance feedback on regular intervals, feedback is related to many facets of overall development such as knowledge, skills, abilities, attitude, behaviour, value match etc. It’s extremely challenging to eliminate subjectivity while giving feedback. Often there are differences between manager and subordinates due to focus on personality rather than Performance, Competence and Capability.
As a recipient of performance feedback it’s also extremely critical to understand the feedback in a right perspective. There are a few basic guidelines for performance appraisal and they are:
- It’s an opportunity to present your achievements and development areas in the right perspective (Accurate self- assessment)
- Evaluating Objectives Vs Measurement Criteria related to a job/project
- Measuring behaviour/values in a professional environment
- It’s an instrument that facilitates receiving both positive and negative feedback, and taking corrective action for self-development
- Appraisal also focuses on competence development and not merely performance evaluation
But more often than not, feedback is not accepted in the right sense by majority in the industry, which leads to turbulence in a working environment, disengagement and animosity among the supervisor and subordinates. Feedback can be positive, negative, neutral or development oriented. There’s a need to look at feedback as a Power Booster which helps us realize strengths, development areas, potential and ensure a smooth and successful journey ahead.
It’s extremely important to broaden our heart and mind when we receive negative feedback, as it can work completely counterproductive, if we do not take it in good stride. Although feedback could be very subjective and person dependent, but if you look at high achievers in IT industry, sports, arts etc. they attribute their success to the constant feedback and its impact on their performance.
We have a choice of feeling completely dejected and let down by managers/supervisors about the feedback they have given or absorb the data, and introspect without any bias, to see if feedback can really help us to raise our competence levels and start making a difference to our own life.
Here are a few tips on how to deal with negative/development oriented feedback:
- Review complete feedback without reacting to what is being told/written. Our first instinct in such situations will be to get defensive and start counting reasons What is he/she concerned about? What are the key issues raised by supervisor? Why is he/she reacting this way and what could be the concerns?
- On receiving feedback, do not look at the person but focus on the role Do not mix your identity with career, instead focus on the role and refer to the feedback on performance of that role
- Be comfortable with criticism and take it in a constructive way, as it is focused on your role and not your personality When criticized, it’s not easy to absorb, but do not take it personally. You need to see things in a perspective that holds relevance to your role.
- In a professional career, there will be many ups and downs, but treat feedback as a tool for self-transformation. Feedback is the breakfast of champions. It’s extremely critical to know that career is a journey and not a destination. We need to learn and enjoy every experience.
- Let’s own our mistakes and be willing to learn from every experience It takes a lion’s heart to accept mistakes and work on improving them. Set a self- discipline so you don’t repeat any mistakes. It’s a journey towards growth.
- Understand the fact “Man, the maker of his destiny”
We are the masters of our life, we must take charge, create interventions to transform our future and redefine our destiny
The above points are purely based on my personal/professional experience in the industry and hope these learning will be helpful in dealing with performance feedback. It’s not easy to handle feedback but if we learn the art of dealing with it, it’ll go a long way in transforming our lives.
Good Luck at god speed!