Wendy continuously interrupts at meetings – how does her boss interpret the behaviour?
This will depend on many factors such as the gender, nationality and personality type of the boss. We all bring our own unconscious bias into our evaluation of situations. According to Therese Huston in her book Let’s Talk: Make Effective Feedback Your Superpower we all have biases and blind spots; learned behaviours that are automatic and unintentional, deeply ingrained that impact how we view other peoples’ behaviours. So how do we manage giving feedback to avoid getting trapped by our own biases. First in the words of Stephen Covey ‘seek first to understand then to be understood’. Ask the person first how they think they are doing? Get a sense of where they see themselves. Use open questions and avoid why questions that can lead people into feeling judged. Exercise what Kim Scott named as ‘radical candour’. She suggests feedback is for the benefit of the recipient and should be based on guidance rather than ‘I know better, I am the boss’. It should be given in person and in a timely manner, rather than 6 months after the event. And remember praise in public – make sure it is specific and sincere and give developmental feedback in private make it kind, constructive and above all clear.