“By Dan Rockwell, of Leadership Freak”
Fault-finding is an island of security for incompetent leaders. Feedback launches into the deep.
- Weak leaders feel powerful.
- Dumb leaders feel smart.
- Unworthy leaders feel deserving.
- Small leaders feel big.
- Insecure leaders feel safe.
Fault-finding is a base form of intelligence.
A pre-feedback worksheet – from finding fault to useful feedback:
Create the feedback mindset with a pre-feedback worksheet.
Write the recipient’s name on the top of a sheet of paper. Yes, use pen and paper. Writing is thinking.
#1. List the praiseworthy qualities and behaviors of the person about to receive feedback.
- They arrive on time.
- They’re pleasant to be around.
- They’re great at … .
- When you hired them, you saw … .
- They’ve learned how to … .
#2. Imagine the future of the feedback recipient. What happens if the negative behavior continues?
#3. Record at least three ways feedback might benefit the recipient?
#4. List at least three things you don’t want to do during the feedback conversation. For example:
- Attack the person.
- Use “always” or “never”.
#5. List at least five things you want to do during the feedback conversation. For example:
- Express confidence.
- Show respect.
- Stay open to options for the path forward.
- Provide support.
*Determine how you will do the things on your list.
Commit to helping others succeed or you’ll end up disliking your team.
Fault-finding or feedback:
Angry feedback is interpreted as fault-finding. Feedback isn’t venting or therapy for the giver.
Any feedback that begins with, “I have to get something off my chest,” misses the point.
Fault-finders look through the wrong end of the telescope when reflecting on themselves and the right end when looking at others.
Fault-finders circle darkness. Feedback presses for light. Useful feedback rallies for improvement.
Fault-finders lack passion for growth. Feedback includes commitment to support. Never give feedback unless you’re committed to the recipient’s success.