I am continually amazed at the lack of performance feedback that people receive in most organizations. The old saying that “feedback is a gift” is not a myth. It is true. Why is that most people (i.e., your boss or anyone that has a say in your future) do not give feedback about your performance? Below are three reasons:
1. The person giving the feedback is not comfortable doing it. They either don’t have the juevos or they are clueless on how to give feedback. They are more concerned about being Mr. nice guy than informing you about your areas that suck and what you need to do to improve them. Oh, by the way. When you do improve in these areas the company’s performance also improves.
2. The person receiving the feedback does not want to hear it. If you do not want to hear it, then don’t cry when your career is stuck in the mud. High performing colleagues demand feedback. They want to hear how they can improve. They realize the company and themselves are better off with direct feedback.
3. You are waiting for the gift of feedback to come at your door. Keep waiting because Santa will not deliver you any gifts. People hate giving feedback. You have to demand it. Your company’s lame computerized performance management system (see lame process in picture) will not make anyone give you feedback. Ask for it from your boss and anyone else that can give it. If you are the boss, give feedback. That is your part of your job.
In short, recognize that people do not like to give feedback. Thus, you must ask for it. The good leaders understand its importance and get comfortable doing it. But these leaders are rare in the workplace. If they are that good, then they have probably written a book about it and no longer work for your company. Step outside your comfort zone. Do different things differently. Go ask for it.