77. Try coaching63
I praise loudly, I blame softly Catherine "The Great", Empress
Look at supervision as coaching, that is, providing
encouragement and advice to staff who need to take corrective action.
Here are five guidelines five Rs:
- Rehearse/visualise. Put yourself in
each of your staff's shoes. What does that person think, what resistance might
you encounter, what are his or her concerns? Be prepared.
Review/restate the problem or opportunity. Give your staff person ample
time to present his or her side of the story. Be a listener. Be ready to change
your mind if you don't have the full picture. State your own role in the
Remove the blinders. Make sure you and your staff member understand that
the issue is to improve performance in the future, not dwell on past mistakes.
Ask what the alternatives are to current performance and how it can be made
Respond with a plan. Be proactive. Collaborate with your staff person on
developing goals, standards, deadlines and schedules.Ask for commitment. Get
your staff member to take the first step now.
Recycle/renew/revise. Coaching is a process, not a one-time event. It is
never over. Stay in
78. Maintain control through management tools64
You probably have several management tools that you can use to
supervise the work of your staff. These tools allow you to focus attention on
activities that have been or need to be done. Use them to keep staff focused on
Budgets: A good budget is a specific, itemised plan. Use it to keep your
programme plan on track by reviewing the status of the budget with your staff on
a regular basis.
Expense records: Good expense records provide documentation of
expenditures. Use them to review important activities with your staff.
charts: A good Gannt chart provides a visual description of the major activities
planned for a programme and their schedule. Review these periodically with your
staff to make sure that your programme remains on schedule.
With the increased availability of computer programs for
management, you have a ready source of many other control devices that can now
be prepared and updated much more quickly than in the past. See the Computer
79. Provide feedback to staff65
Despite its inevitability and importance, feedback or information
about workplace performance is enjoyed and performed effectively by few.
However, the benefits of knowing how to deliver feedback are immense. Clear and
direct feedback reduces uncertainty, solves problems, builds trust, strengthens
relationships, and improves work quality.
The following guidelines will help managers acquire feedback
specific. Give descriptive examples of the behaviour or performance at
descriptive. Instead of evaluative. Referring to observable behaviour deals with
fact rather than opinion.
aware. Of non-verbal communication. Unintended displays of feedback, like
raising eyebrows, constitutes opinion.
appropriate timing. Feedback is usually most effective right after the work
performance occurs or immediately after it is asked for. Ensure privacy and
allow time for discussion.
for impact. Positive and negative input about job performance should be made at
least weekly to increase its impact and lessen potential
80. Make feedback valuable66
Subordinates need substantive feedback to either continue on track
or re-route and improve work performance. Time is limited so think ahead about
what you will say and how you will say it.
The guidelines below will help managers transform personal,
unorganised thoughts into constructive, tangible feedback.
Acknowledge the need for feedback:
- Giving and receiving feedback, should
be part of the whole organisation's culture, wherein, everyone agrees that it
will help establish and maintain good group dynamics. This consensus is
important so that there is no surprise when someone receives feedback.
positive and negative feedback
give feedback only when there are problems.
take good work for granted.
workers when they have done a job well.
People are more likely to pay attention to complaints if they
are also in the habit of receiving compliments understand the context.
The most important characteristic of feedback is that it always
has context: where the performance occurred, why it occurred, and what led up to
the event. Before giving feedback, review the actions and decisions that led up
to that point.
Know when to give feedback
- Is the moment right for feedback?
Consider more than your own need to give feedback.
Know how to give feedback
- Be descriptive, but concise.
- Don't coin behaviour into labels
like, "unprofessional." They are judgmental as are words like, "good," "bad,"
- Speak only for
- Talk first about
yourself, not about the other party; for example, "I feel annoyed that you are
late for meetings," rather than, "You are frequently late for
- Phrase the issue
as a statement, not a question; for example, "It bothers me when you are late
for meetings," rather than, "When are you going to be on time for
- Restrict your
feedback to things you know for certain.
- Help workers hear and accept positive feedback. Remember,
some people are awkward about acknowledging compliments about themselves.
Reinforce positive feedback.
Know how to receive positive
Relax. Breathe to relieve tenseness.
- Listen carefully and don't interrupt.
- Ask for specific examples of the
described behaviour if you are unclear.
- Acknowledge valid points.
- Feel free to take time to sort out feedback before you
81. Don't confuse feedback with evaluation67
Evaluation judges performance when making decisions, for example,
about pay increases and promotions. Feedback tells workers how well they are
doing and what they can do to improve.
Remember, when giving feedback:
- Use observable terms instead of
judgmental words. There is a different reaction from the employee who is
reminded of missing three deadlines than from the same employee who is called
- Don't expect
to accomplish the same results with feedback and evaluation. They are mutually
- Don't expect to
always accomplish each purpose in the same meeting. Feedback won't work when
employees are threatened and
82. How to ask for feedback68
Staff are usually reluctant to provide any feedback to their
bosses, especially if it is negative. But your staff know you better than anyone
else you work with. Their reactions to your behaviour, and their suggestions for
how you can improve yourself as a manager, are important information. You should
make sure you get it ently.
Here are some hints for getting more and better feedback from
Ask more open-ended questions. Use words like who, what, when, where, why
and how to ask questions. Avoid questions that can be answered with a simple yes
or no. "How can I present this more clearly?"
more "suppose" questions. This type of question makes the listener put himself
or herself in someone else's position. "Suppose this were your problem. How
would you deal with it?"
Echoes. Echoing is a repetition of the speaker's words followed by a
pause. It encourages the speaker to elaborate on a point. "You're saying the
team has some problems?"
Reassure. Reassurance is letting the speaker know that you understand his
or her position because you've been in a similar situation yourself. "I know
what you mean. I didn't understand the policies when they were introduced
Reflect. Reflection is neutral observation of the feelings you see in
someone else. "You seem very concerned about this issue."
Listen. People say more and they say it better when they believe that
someone is really listening to