DJHP / Leaders
Millennials grew up with the Internet. They also grew up in a world of texting, tweeting, posting, pinning, liking, and following — all of which provide almost instantaneous feedback. Now that they’ve entered the workplace, their expectations are virtually the same for this environment, which has posed a problem for employers.
Is this person just needy? Or, is he asking for feedback in hopes of improving his performance and growing in a career? What’s more, will this continuous feedback lead to the micromanaging of employees?
To walk that fine line between feedback and micromanagement, I suggest the following:
1. Practice reflective listening. Reflective listening is all about trying to understand exactly what the person is asking, and then offering that question back before your response. It’s a way of clarifying a question or idea prior to providing your feedback as to not confuse the situation. Once you know what they’re seeking, respond with concretes.
2. Role-model behavior. Employees have always looked to leadership in how to behave in the workplace. Follow up and follow through on objectives and promises. Demonstrate integrity by listening actively and communicating appropriately. Be authentic in your interactions with everyone on your team. By role-modeling behavior, fewer questions remain about what’s appropriate (and not appropriate) in the workplace.
3. Own up to mistakes. This really goes hand-in-hand with role-modeling. When you own up to mistakes yourself, and provide an explanation of intent going forward, you’re not just showing your human side but giving employees license to make their own mistakes. This can be very freeing for your team and can limit the questions surrounding work.
4. Lean on culture. Hopefully, your company has a culture that supports a growth mindset, where talent isn’t a fixed resource but something that can develop over time. To avoid micromanaging, always refer back to the culture of growth and provide team members in need of regular feedback additional opportunities to develop their skills sets. Make it a standard for employees.
5. Offer reassurance. Be generous with your staff when it comes to support. Show them that you feel they’re worth the investment and that you want them to grow. Even if anyone can do the job, make sure they understand you want them doing it. Don’t mollycoddle them, of course. Or, be too attentive. It’s more about showing them that you respect their contributions.
“Be generous with your staff when it comes to support. Show them that you feel they’re worth the investment and that you want them to grow.”
6. Define expectations. As with any employee, give them a clear picture of expectations. Be up front with where they need to grow. Provide concretes — and an action plan on how to get to these concretes. Explain to them the importance of their growth and what it means for their future.
7. Lead with sincerity. Authenticity goes a long way with employees. Conduct yourself with sincerity, and they’ll trust that you always have their best interests in mind.
Feedback is essential to grow in a career. Just because someone asks for a bit more feedback than others doesn’t necessarily make them needy. It could be a sign that they’re waiting for the next opportunity in their occupational pursuits, so provide it to them.
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Dr. Jan Hoistad
Lead Coach. Business Development Consultant. Thought Leader. Entrepreneur. Author. Dr. Jan Hoistad is passionate about helping professionals, business owners, partners, and teams develop the skills necessary to achieve success and fulfillment in both their occupational pursuits and personal lives.
With 35 years of experience, Dr. Hoistad has been a pioneer in the field of professional coaching. She’s advised countless CEO’s, executives, business group heads, emerging leaders, partners, teams, and professionals in career transition and business development, teaching them how to dig deep, and sometimes loosen up, so they can start living by their values, finding their purpose, and achieving their professional and personal goals with intent and confidence.
By helping professionals see that personal wholeness is a means to achieving optimum professional performance, Dr. Hoistad provides her clients the tools to become catalysts for change in their own businesses, careers and lives. They learn to leverage their strengths, build on their expertise, and expand their influence to become true innovators in their fields.