Over the past several months we have been talking about process leadership. I use the term process because I want to develop people rather than merely lead out of my strengths or preferences. This suggests more of a follower driven model – I lead based on what they need rather than what I prefer. I choose to stay engaged so performance does not fall through the cracks and delegate to them when they are ready and willing. We have covered 3 stages in this process – Getting a new leader started, Equipping them to succeed, and Releasing them to serve.

The final stage I call “Maintaining a feedback loop”. This is a vital piece to understand and practice. This means – no matter how developed a person may be – the leader always has a role of feedback. As I develop a leader I work through all four stages and I remind them – I always have the right to give feedback. I make sure this is clear on the front end so when I do give them feedback they aren’t:

  • Surprised
  • Thinking I have lost confidence
  • Think they are not competent
  • Thinking I am overstepping my role.

By the way – I mentioned I take people through this process and when I do I tell them where they are in this process – so they can not only see their development – they can learn the process (that they can use) themselves.

I plan to make the next few posts about 2 kinds of feedback and how to give and receive feedback. Before we get to feedback – let’s talk about how to create an atmosphere for delivering feedback.

The difference between a home run and a long foul ball is timing – the same can be true with feedback. We must create a readiness for feedback so it can be received and utilized.

Clayton Kershaw (L.A. Dodgers) is the highest paid pitcher in Major League Baseball. I can throw strikes with a baseball as well. Yet, I will never be paid millions for throwing a baseball and Kershaw is paid millions. His effectiveness in throwing a ball has some people saying he is the best pitcher in baseball today. Although I can throw strikes – I would not be effective at all in Major League Baseball. So what is the difference between my pitching and Kershaw’s – IT IS THE DELIVERY!!! You say “Duh – nothing new to report here”. I agree – I also believe that for feedback to be effective – DELIVERY MATTERS!!!

So- what should you pay attention to in the delivery? What do you pay attention to in delivery? Leave me a comment – my next post will be about 3 Keys to the effective delivery of feedback.