You’ve probably heard about (or participated in) the ongoing debate about performance reviews. A number of studies and articles have made pro and con cases, with the debate almost always centered around two questions: Should we have them? Are they valuable?

But these questions aren’t really getting to the heart of the issue. If you really want a process that squarely focuses on employee development, I suggest we begin to ask a different question of both employees and employers.


How important is feedback to you?

I like feedback – you might say I crave it. I ask for it regularly and use it to help develop myself. I seek it at work, home and on the road with clients. I want to know what they think is effective and what is not working so well. I always believe there is room for improvement and I truly do not take it personally. One of my top 5 Clifton Strengthsfinder strengths is Learner – that plays a key role in my desire for feedback. Learners constantly want to focus on becoming better.

4 key ingredients 

There are 4 key ingredients to successful, constructive feedback:

  1. Timeliness
  2. Relevancy
  3. Honesty
  4. A focus on development, not judgement

If you’re asking for feedback, what do you want to know – and more importantly, what will you do with the information once you have it?

Take me, for example. I seek feedback in all different aspects of my life – it does not vary by the person from whom I’m seeking it. I want character-strengthening feedback, because if I can improve upon that, it will make me better across the board.

That's why I want to know:

  • How do I make people feel?
  • Am I communicating in a way that I can be understood?
  • Do I build trust?
  • How do I manage conflict?
  • In our relationship, what could I do better?

Those who know me, realize how important this is to me. I am grateful you take the time to regularly give me timely, honest and relevant feedback.

Your turn

I would love to know: Do you value feedback? How do you seek it in your life, from your colleagues, families or clients? What questions do you ask?


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Front and Centered team