Cultivating A Feedback-Rich Culture: How To Build A Growth-Minded Organization

Building a Strong Feedback Culture

Have you been asked to give feedback, but are not sure where to begin? How often do you receive feedback from your team and/or manager? Is feedback a normalized part of your organization’s culture? Do you feel comfortable sharing feedback directly within your company?

Companies with a strong feedback culture invest in talent. They provide an environment in which employees feel comfortable voicing opinions, sharing ideas, and influencing business decisions. Everyone’s voice is valued, so everyone wants to contribute.

A strong feedback culture is critical to the growth and success of an organization. Providing a safe and positive environment where employees can freely share and receive feedback will help employees grow and perform better.

But a feedback culture can’t simply be created — it must be shaped. So how do you build toward consistent behaviors that encourage employees to give feedback by default?

This recorded resource focuses on how a feedback culture impacts employees within an organization. Our panelists represent HR leaders from different types of organizations and will each share unique perspectives and experiences.

Our expert panel includes:

In this discussion, you’ll learn more about our panelists’ experience giving and receiving feedback and building a feedback culture in an organization. They’ll share more about what has worked well for them and what hasn’t. Whether you’re curious about learning more, it’s your first time cultivating a feedback-rich environment, or you’re seasoned on the topic — all can benefit from this lively discussion. Our goal is to offer insight into how you can improve now and over time from experts across all different industries.

What you’ll learn in from this webinar roundtable:
  • Why a feedback culture is so important when growing your organization.
  • How to build the right framework to cultivate an ongoing commitment to interpersonal feedback.
  • How to build a safe environment that normalizes the process of giving and receiving feedback within your organization.
  • What resources are available to you to help your employees through feedback that is received.



Kristy McCann Flynn: – And thank you to everybody who’s joining us today to learn about, you know, how to create culture in your organization. We are joined by some outstanding panelists that I’ve gotten to know over the last couple of months. And some years so thrilled to introduce everybody today and dive into our topic around feedback. So Sharon, you want to give a brief intro. First, kick it off. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:00:27 – Sure. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:00:27 – I’m Sharon Jautz. I’m the head of HR for essential North America. Our brands include WGSN and money 2020, can lions happy to be here. Thanks for having me. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:00:39 – Awesome. Thank you, Sharon. Bridget, you want to say hello. Hi everyone. 

Bridget Wilder:  00:00:43 – My name is Bridget Wilder. I am the owner of Wilder HR management and EO consulting and I’m based in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:00:52 Awesome. 

Kristy McCann Flynn:  00:00:53 – Thank you, Bridget. Tony. 

Tonille Miller: 00:00:57 – Hi everybody. Tonille Miller here. I’m the global vice president of culture and people experience at Star Tech and I’m based in New York City. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:01:05 – Awesome. Thank you, Tony. Steve, how are you doing? 

Steve Schloss: 00:01:09 – Hi, I’m Steve Schloss. I’m the chief people officer of the USGA, which is the United States Golf Association and the governing body for the sport and located just outside of Manhattan. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:01:22 – Awesome. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:01:22 – Thank you, Steve and Tina. How are you? 

Tina Allen: 00:01:26 – I’m doing well. Hey everyone, I’m Tina Allen. I am a recent new member of the go coach community and pretty excited about that also former head of people and culture for the four A’s and Thank you. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:01:41 – Thank you. And I am also broadcasting from New York. And so just a little bit about why we picked the subject before we dive in. So before starting go coach. I was actually a former head of HR and multiple businesses and One of the ongoing pain points that I’m sure a lot of you feel and that a lot of the panelists are going to help you through today is how do you get people to talk to each other. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:02:05 – And how are you able to get feedback in a way that people actually can do something with it and it become actionable Without hurting people’s feelings or without trying to, you know, negate everything that they’ve tried to do and Have been able to figure out to do. And one of the biggest things that I did it, especially in my last role at constant contact was actually take out performance management. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:02:28 – Systems and actually implement a culture of conversations and we did it in the vein of constant conversations and it was really More of an exercise and day to day initiative, rather than a practice or a policy. And I think that’s one of the biggest things that you know as HR professionals. And just, you know, with being any type of organization is really how to have, you know, an honest and fierce conversation with someone for it to be actionable for it to be learnable and There to be a win-win on both sides. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:03:04 – So just wanted to add that story, you know, as we kick this off because I know this team has a lot of different stories that we’re going to be able to dive into So that you can actually take key takeaways from here and be able to implement it within your organization. We’re all about education. And that’s why we’re here is to be able to help you. So kick this off. I’m going to start with Tina. What does a feedback culture, you know, what does it look like and why does it matter within an organization? 

Tina Allen:00:03:33 – Yeah, great question. Um, you know, from my perspective, when we think about what a feedback culture looks like it looks like People providing coaching in the moment to each other real time throughout the workday and within the workflow. It’s embedded in the workflow. And the real question is, how do you get there, where, where there’s this feeling of of safety and transparency for everyone to feel like it’s okay to provide that feedback in the moment. 

Tina Allen: 00:04:02 – And so there are a couple of things from a framework standpoint that have to be put into place to really enable that feedback culture. One of it is training. Providing training to employees as well as managers on what different kinds of feedback looks like. You know, peer to peer feedback is going to be different than feedback that a manager may provide to someone that’s on their team. And then executive level feedback will be different as well. 

Tina Allen:00:04:30 – And so I think it’s important number one to train the organization on how you provide feedback depending upon. The relationship you have with the person that’s intended to receive that feedback. 

Tina Allen :00:04:41 – Right. 

Tina Allen: 00:04:41 – And then I also think it’s about creating some tools. That enable that feedback process as well. So that’s where technology comes into place and having certain platforms like Slack might be one that I would consider where team members can provide feedback to one another. The other thing to remember In creating a feedback culture is that feedback can be critical, as long as it’s presented in the right way and the intent and providing that critical feedback. Is positive and comes from a good place. 

Tina Allen:00:05:14 – And there’s some training that needs to be done around that as well. Feedback can also be positive. And it’s important to remember that we’re providing our colleagues and our team members with feedback in the moment when they do things really well. I think having kind of Both sides of that spectrum and giving that balanced perspective is what also drives a feedback culture. So I think it’s about creating the safety and the transparency for those conversations And then providing platforms that actually enable that. 

Tina Allen: 00:05:45 – So you have to actually embed it in the culture. The other question you asked me is, 

Tina Allen: 00:05:52 – Why is it important? It’s important because if we, if our intent as organizational leaders and HR professionals who are really on the front line and driving us for our, our cultures. If our intent is to really help people and grow and develop we know that people need feedback in real time. 

Tina Allen:00:06:11 – And nothing is worse than surprising someone at the end of the year, during annual performance feedback and hearing something that you haven’t heard before, or was kind of intimated and left hanging in the clouds and there was no explanation right about it, or connection to your everyday work and how you can improve so I think it’s important for those reasons. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:06:33 – Awesome. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:06:34 – Thank you, Tina, and you’re hitting on the safe and supportive environment which is absolutely critical and then also, you know, in time feedback. Just to piggyback off that I’ll never forget, you know, early in my career I had a manager provide me feedback and annual review and I was like, Why didn’t you tell me that like a year ago. How was I supposed to correct my actions? If this is the first time I’m hearing this feedback and he just looked at me he goes, I don’t know. He goes, maybe I should have. 

Kristy McCann Flynn:00:07:04 – I was just like so I think one of the biggest takeaways is that you know, real time feedback, you know, creates action at that time and if you’re not giving it real time that you’re not going to create action, which goes into, you know, my next question like you know let’s talk about performance reviews and Sharon I think that you’d be great for this like, you know, the performance reviews and knowing that this is all supposed to be about conversations like you know what is the best way to be able to go into process, get some value for both the employer and the employee. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:07:37 – I agree with everything that Tina said specifically around performance reviews not being, you know, once a year. I mean, those days are so gone. So you’ve got to do it in real time. It’s really important and I think good technology supports that. But what I think you can do to prepare is, you know, it doesn’t have to. I think that you get more buy in when the process isn’t onerous and it’s more of a conversation. So if you want to start with For example, feedback. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:08:12 – What am I doing well, what do I need to do more of, what should I stop doing, what can I start doing just even asking those questions of your peers or your manager starts the conversation because really that’s what a performance review is, it’s a conversation. So it is a two way street. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:08:32 – Yeah, you’re bringing up something very important there that I want to emphasize that as a good action will take away for the audience out there, which are start stops and continues. So if you haven’t heard of these. These are a great way to actually, you know, bring in, you know, constant conversations of things that people need to start doing and things that people need to stop doing and then things that people need to do. And when you do that, it really gives like, you know, a holistic version of all the feedback that I think is very critical. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:08:59 – Thank you. And I’m moving away from like, you know, just the one to one conversation with the manager Sharon, what are your thoughts on 360 where have you seem them done well and not well and what tips. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:09:13 – I wouldn’t say we have 360 reviews here. But what we do do is solicit feedback from before your mid year performance review and end of year performance review. We ask employees to solicit feedback from their peers from stakeholders that are senior to them, but to whom you don’t report. And that information is used in a coaching kind of forum. It’s not punitive and it’s not, you know, award time but it’s definitely here’s what you’re doing really well. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:09:51 – Here’s where I think we need to work a little bit, but it’s it’s not unusual for me to get five or six requests. During the mid year review or end of year review on feedback. What am I doing well, you know, what can I start doing stop doing and we feed that right into work day, which is our HR is platform. And it’s all about explaining what you’re doing, whether it’s good or constructive. How you’re doing it and the impact that it has. I mean, that’s good feedback. The what, how, why and whether it’s positive or constructive. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:10:32 – Those are the three tenants of providing good feedback quality feedback. 

Kristy McCann Flynn:00:10:38 – Yeah, no, I agree. And I think, you know, just continue to echo that it’s not just about giving feedback like you know I mean directly to your employee, but I think that we also have to work with employees that are giving feedback directly to management and leadership. And so Steve like, I mean, 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:10:56 – What would you do to be able to coach, you know, employees out there on how to be able to manage up and get feedback, you know, where they need help and with the people that they’re working with? 

Steve Schloss: 00:11:08 – Well, managing up is one of those things that if you don’t have a culture that embraces feedback, it’s very difficult in some ways to be confident that doing that is going to be okay in the first place. 

Steve Schloss:00:11:22 – But oftentimes, helping people get feedback from above oftentimes can be addressed through the definition of the kinds of questions they may want to ask, which is can we talk about the ways that I think it would be helpful for you to coach me and engage in a conversation around how to work effectively together and in the course of that process actually get some feedback because you’re having a productive dialogue and how to work together effectively, as opposed to just getting feedback for the sake of getting feedback. 

Steve Schloss: 00:11:55 – That’s one approach. 

Kristy McCann Flynn:00:11:59 – Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And I think the other thing is, is, you know, going back to what Tina said earlier, you know, the safe and supportive environment and, you know, culture is king. It rules your company, whether it’s good or not so good. And I think that, you know, what I’ve always done, you know, in the past is being able to empower employees. You’re going to come to work to be able to do something and to be able to get something out of it. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:12:22 – And so what are the most important things that you want to get out of work, you know, and are you incorporating that in, you know, with your overall goals? Because I think starting there as the why behind, you know, why somebody is coming in and working every single day continues to ignite, you know, where they need to further advance and be able to manage up and have those direct conversations with their management team so that they’re getting their why out of, you know, their day to day too. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:12:50 – And so on that topic of, you know, like empowerment and, you know, why, and, you know, we all know Simon Snek, you know, built an entire business off of why, you know, Bridget, you know, how can what are different ways to be able to empower people to be able to, you know, have that, you know, sense of security, able to, you know, put themselves at the forefront and ask you for the thinking. 

Bridget Wilder: 00:13:14 – Well, I think it’s really important that, you know, as Tina and Sharon brought out that we teach people about giving and receiving feedback because it’s truly a skill versus a talent. So if you’re going to empower them, that’s going to serve as that foundation. 

Bridget Wilder: 00:13:32 – I view feedback training as a way for us to teach people a skill set to be what I call crucial conversations, meaning that they understand how to provide constructive feedback in a way that will help people to grow and improve versus providing feedback that will hinder that growth and that improvement. So when I am providing training, I like to do two different types of training to teach them to empower them. 

Bridget Wilder: 00:14:06 – The first being a foundational training that’s going to teach them how to give peer to peer feedback as well as how to do management employee to management feedback. And then for the leader, teaching them how to manage to the reaction of the feedback that they give to employees. So part of that empowerment in the training. I’m going to teach them by showing them videos on good and bad examples of feedback interaction. Also skill drills. 

Bridget Wilder: 00:14:37 – Sometimes you don’t have time to do role plays and training, but if you set up a 30 minute skill drill where they can do knock practice and get into getting that competent level on how to give feedback by practicing review, that’s empowering to them. And so those are some key things that you can do to help them to feel empowered. Another concept that you can utilize with your managers is helping them to reframe SMART goals. 

Bridget Wilder: 00:15:08 – You know, everybody’s familiar with doing that in developing performance goals, but in terms of giving feedback, you can use it for the same concept. So in terms of being specific, S. is going to learn how to provide specific examples of the behavior of performance so that the employee understands what they mean. The M being measurable. How do they know what success looks like? How do they measure it? A being achievable. Just the feedback that they’re providing them going to give them an opportunity to take action to achieve the goals. 

Bridget Wilder: 00:15:45 – Are being relevant. So for example, if I tell an employee that they should perform their work more like Jane. What does that really mean? So instead of having the focus on the person, have the focus on the characteristics of the work product you want them to be producing therefore it makes it relevant for them. And then finally, making it timely where they feel as though they know when it’s expected to be done. But ultimately, I think, as well as helping people to remember the purpose of feedback, which is to help people to do better to be better. 

Bridget Wilder: 00:16:21 – And then it becomes a fundamental tool for growth. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:16:24 – Wow, Bridget. That was amazing. You provided so many different nuggets within that. We’re definitely going to have to get some micro learning stuff. And so, you know, on that topic, though, like I remember this and Tom Nail, I’ll pump this one to you, but like I get the entire organization, you know, trained and ready to give feedback. I would have all the employees ready and then guess who wasn’t doing, you know, the feedback component? Leaders. So, Tom Nail, what do you think here? 

Kristy McCann Flynn:  00:16:56 – How do we get leaders to actually get more involved and really create, you know,  that open ongoing, you know, continuous conversation? 

Tonille Miller: 00:17:06 – Yeah, it’s a great question. And I think it’s one of the tougher ones because as we know there’s a lot we can do on the organization level for staff or staff person or average individual but leaders are the real tough ones for any change, I think. I think one of the things that I typically do and I find it effective is I’m starting with the why, right? So for this or for really any other initiative starting with the why, why it’s important to the organization, what it’s going to do for each individual who practices it. 

Tonille Miller: 00:17:32 – So for example, if I’m speaking with a leader about this particular topic, I’m going to go into the fact that guess what, not only at an individual level does this improve your teams, your individual performers on your team. So that actually, you know, it’s a tough one. But also once this catches fire and the entire organization is doing it, all the different ripple effects that happen when everybody’s doing it and how that impacts the bottom line. So that would be where I would start with it. 

Tonille Miller: 00:18:00 – I think beyond that, it’s a matter of some of the things we’ve already touched on, right? So giving everybody in the organization the right tools, making sure that you’re giving managers and leaders maybe different tools or different coaching around what they can be doing. Because as we all know, that is a different animal. I think some of the other ways to go about this would be, let’s see here, I think just really explaining the importance to, you know, not just the why, but really what does that look like for them. We need them to role model it. 

Tonille Miller: 00:18:27 – We need them to be accountable. We need them to talk about it and ask others if they’re doing it and really just be that leader, be that vulnerable leader and go first. Ask for feedback first. And I think some of that, the proof is in the pudding. When you show them what that looks like in real time and they start doing it, maybe with their leadership team or something like that, they can kind of start to see how that works. Also, you know, showing them data. If you can find that, that’s obviously key. 

Tonille Miller: 00:18:51 – Showing how it increases the bottom line, how it increases engagement and performance and all that. That’s obviously huge as well. I think those are some of the main ones that I would start with. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:19:02 – I agree with that. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:19:04 – And I would just say, let me give you some feedback. 

Tonille Miller: 00:19:08 – Or can I get some feedback from you? 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:19:13 – That was one of my points where I became very daring, you know, in my career was when I got everybody else to have a conversation, but I couldn’t have a leader have a conversation. So one of the tips and actual tricks that I did was I bought my CEO this book called Fierce Conversations. So for any of you that are familiar out there, Fierce Conversations is a great book. And it’s actually a pragmatic approach, especially with different leadership styles. So that’s something that the audience should definitely check out. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:19:43 – But I remember when I had that Fierce Conversation after he read the book, you know, around how he needs to provide feedback to his, you know, direct reports, he’s just like, I’m really happy you gave the book to me first. So I get like, you know, set up, you know, what this book is about. conversation was going to be immensely prepared. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:20:02 – I know texting is like the new thing. Like, you know what I mean, where everybody texts everything, everything at all times. I’m like, but is this feedback? I should be really getting a text message. Like, you know what I mean? So it did land well with me and I remember having the conversation, you know, with my leader at that point and he was like, I didn’t want to forget about it and I know you’re always on your phone because you’re talking to employees. He goes, so that’s why I dropped it in a text message. I’m like, okay, thank you. 

Kristy McCann Flynn:00:21:35 – Let’s continue to have that conversation, but let’s do it off test and more about conversation. But I have to say that story, especially, you know, we’ve been talking about a lot of the softer side of giving and receiving feedback. Let’s talk tech because everything is tech enhanced and tech enabled. Steve, what are your thoughts around technology and as far as giving and receiving feedback? What’s the good, bad and ugly and, you know, the takeaway today? 

Steve Schloss: 00:22:04 – So first of all, I have no problem getting a text with feedback, so I’m cool with that. But what I would say is, you know, when I compare the experience that I’m in right now with, you know, helping to transform a 125 year old organization versus being in a startup before I came here, I would answer the question differently. In a startup business environment, which was global in nature, the question of feedback for us was ironically the direct opposite of what you might think in that we were very much of a bleeding edge environment. 

Steve Schloss: 00:22:37 – And so we use technology for everything, including the structure of how we were managing our traditional feedback processes. But where we spent more time was going low tech because we believe that particularly in a global environment where delivery of feedback and the approach to feedback could be different across culture as well. We decided that the best approach for us was a simple model in an environment where our two core values at the time were being an owner and helping others. Those were our two values. 

Steve Schloss: 00:23:15 – And so we inject that into our feedback process, which we called owner to owner feedback, which was essentially a tool that we use that if I was the recipient of the feedback that you took in the spirit of helping others, the responsibility for it was a tool that helped very simply identify three things that I do well, two things that you thought I could work on and one opportunity to start the process to improve. And that became a mechanism by which it was more face to face. 

Steve Schloss: 00:23:47 – Now in an environment, in an organization that’s 125 years old, we’re taking the opposite approach, which is much more of a digital approach, which is using our internal platforms, whether it’s chat to our internal communication approaches. We don’t use Slack, but we’re debating whether or not we’re going to use it. We are looking to invest potentially into a particular performance platform that would open the door to feedback to being a little more digitized. And so there we’re moving the transformation in the other direction. 

Steve Schloss: 00:24:24 – And part of it is people in a mission driven high impact environment are looking to be delivered feedback actually in a faster way, because particularly in an industry like ours in sports, there is a notion that feedback happens every time you play. So people are very interested in real time feedback, but delivered digitally as we transform the organization. So depending upon where you work, you shouldn’t assume that technology alone might solve the 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:24:58 – Awesome. Now, thank you. And I think, you know, you’re hitting on a lot of different points too. I think a lot of people like to over architect certain things, especially around conversations and the fact that you’re using, you know, a simple guide and looking at all the different cultural components of, you know, your organization, I think is really important and something that needs to be taken into consideration in all organizations. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:25:24 – You know, one of the biggest things, you know, when I was at Pearson Education that really were, you know, a global education company that shaped me was, you know, when we did, you know, have our performance management process, you know, how it was really negating what we needed to get done, you know, across a global company. And it wasn’t enhancing conversations. Instead, it was, you know, harboring them. And because it was, we weren’t looking at it in a simple way, you know, I mean, that resonated with, you know, everybody there. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:25:55 – And I think that this is another reason, you know, why we have diversity and inclusion issues, because we’re not looking at the most simple things of register to provide that safe and supportive environment. 

Steve Schloss: 00:26:06 – Right. Yeah, I would just add to that point, regardless of the use of technology or not, the two things that I found that enable the success of the tool or the analog approach, let’s call it that way. The two things that come to mind are choice and presence, meaning that you choose to want it or to give it when you are either giving it or receiving it. And the choice to be present makes the experience overall that much successful. 

Steve Schloss: 00:26:43 – And teaching people to be present, even in the use of a tool to converse, is in some ways the hardest thing to do to make the experience effective because that alone can strengthen a process or actually diminish it just based on that behavior specifically. And presence, of course, requires listening. 

Tina Allen: 00:27:03 – And I think that’s the other stuff in here. I would also add that what also makes the experience positive or negative is really the intent of the feedback. I think there’s a discussion to be had around helping, making sure we’re training people. And making sure that folks that are implementing know what the purpose is of that. I think organization number one decide what is our purpose. And that’s where you are in your journey as an organization. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:28:28 – I would agree with that. I think that the rules of engagement need to be discussed with the understanding that feedback is not a gift. People struggle receiving it. They struggle giving it. I think that you have to be respectful both in receiving and in giving. And I also think that you have to have the understanding that the recipient is free to use your feedback or not. And I think you go into it with these. And to your point, what is the intent? Are you saying this feedback to get it off your chest? 

Sharon Jautz: 00:29:04 – Or are you really using it to develop and motivate another employee or a staff member? And so I think those distinctions all need to be discussed and said. 

Tonille Miller: 00:29:15 – And I think that’s where organizations can make a difference too. Because if they make it the norm and they provide the training and the tools and they set those rules of engagement, then everybody knows this is how we do it versus, oh, that didn’t feel right or that wasn’t consistent with whatever. But I think that’s a great opportunity.

Bridget Wilder: 00:29:34 I think adding to that, it’s important to let employees know what decisions, what changes were made because of that feedback. Because not only are you showing that you’re listening, but you took action. 

Bridget Wilder: 00:29:46 – And when you couldn’t take action explaining to them the why. I think all of that will encourage building that feedback culture that we’re trying to build. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:29:56 – Now these are all great points. And just to echo and summarize much of what you said, it’s meeting with the best intentions. And I think that the values in your organization are also a big trigger as to how you provide feedback to others. And it really delivers ongoing learning rather than feeling like criticism. I think also the other big thing we need to do just as leaders in organizations, as HR professionals, is making sure that we understand people’s intent. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:30:30 – I think that that’s one of the biggest things that I learned throughout my career, where people would come in and they would get feedback and it wasn’t landing well. And I would ask them, have you spoken to your manager about what he’s intending to do to be able to help you? And they go, no. I’m just like, well, you have to understand the place that it’s coming from in order to really understand why you’re getting it and be able to move forward. So it’s not just about the feedback. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:30:58 – It’s really about coming from a place of why you’re getting it and that relationship that you have with the individual that’s providing it. So thank you. And just on that note, Sharon, can you give some tips and tricks as to how to actually give good feedback where it’s not criticism, but it’s actually type of education for people to be able to take with them to advance themselves? 

Sharon Jautz:  00:31:25 – Yeah, I mean, it goes back to the what, how, why. I think it’s really important that you understand what behaviors or what’s happening, how you’re doing it, and the impact that you’re having. And I think that that gets away. These are hard conversations and people struggle with it. So you can’t just say, well, you do that all the time. So you have to say, last Tuesday, you were late to a meeting, and the clients were there, and they were at risk to begin with, and your lateness almost caused us to lose that client. 

Sharon Jautz:  00:32:02 – It’s a lot stronger than you’re late all the time. So I think that the what, how, why rule is a good rule of thumb to have when giving good feedback. If you’re giving constructive feedback, I always think you should start, you should give it positively, but don’t dilute the message. I don’t think it should be framed as an attack, and I don’t think it should be framed as a punitive thing. 

Sharon Jautz:  00:32:30 – I think that you can say something constructively without beating people over the head with a frying pan, but you just can’t dilute the message, because I think at the end of the day, you have to just really understand what the problem is. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:32:48 – Yeah. And just to echo off that with diluting, and this is also in the Fierce Conversation model, it’s called the Oreo cookie, where you give a compliment. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:32:59 – The shit sandwich. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:33:00 – The question was Don’t do an Oreo cookie. Yeah. That’s right. 

Tina Allen: 00:33:10 – Well, one of the simple tenets in making sure that the feedback is coming from a good place and that it’s really constructive is taking out any personalization. And I say that because as simple as that sounds, it is amazing, and I’m sure all of you have seen this as HR professionals, how quickly managers and leaders in particular, I’m just going to be transparent and fall into that behavior, because they are trying to drive results, right? 

Tina Allen: 00:33:39 – And so they kind of default to comparisons or subjective feedback that they themselves may have received that has really influenced them. So I think we also have to push managers to make sure that they’re not allowing their perceptions to be influenced when they are crafting this feedback and that they’re pulling out all of the personalization. As HR professionals, we’re in a really critical role to be in a position to review that information and having the courage to call it out when we see it diplomatically in the appropriate way. 

Tina Allen:  00:34:17 – That’s also a really critical role that we serve in helping to kind of manage that feedback culture and really get it embedded in the culture. 

Kristy McCann Flynn:00:34:25 – Now, thank you. I think you’re putting on something, too, that I want to toss back to you and the rest of the panel, storytelling. And so I think it’s an important thing, because I would love your thoughts and examples on it, because it shows the vulnerability of the person that’s giving feedback as to, I’ve been through this before. 

Kristy McCann Flynn:00:34:48 – So when you think about storytelling, what are tips and tricks for the audience to be able to take as they think about giving feedback on how to inject themselves into the story to provide that safe and supportive environment? Yeah. That’s an A1.

Tina Allen: 00:35:01 – Well, something that I’ve found to be particularly impactful and effective, and this is something that I’ve observed when it’s been a senior leader that’s needed to provide feedback, someone that’s a leader of other leaders. But it’s a model that can work. I think having some authenticity when you are providing the feedback and you. So for example, here’s an example. 

Tina Allen: 00:35:28 – Suppose you are giving feedback to someone that’s leading a team that you’ve received feedback that perhaps they are themselves harsh in their criticism, and perhaps they’re not handling managing the workflow in the best way. You might share with that person that as you are coming up in your career, you encountered that same type of situation. And here’s how I handle it. So that they know that it’s safe and it’s OK that they’re making these mistakes, that’s going to naturally open them up to really receive your message. 

Tina Allen: 00:36:04 – Because to your point, Sharon and Christy, you can’t dilute the message. You do have to kind of go in now with the message that this behavior needs to change. You’re in a key leadership role. You’re managing a team that has a huge impact on the organization. So I need you to adjust this behavior. But I also want you to know that you’re in a safe space in making this mistake. And I’m going to kind of walk you through it. I’ve made that mistake myself too. 

Tina Allen: 00:36:30 – And I think if you’re just able to be authentic about that, so many leaders don’t share those stories themselves when they’re coaching other people. And I think that if we can get transparent ourselves and admit and own the mistakes we’ve had, there’s no way any of us get to positions of status, importance, authority, whatever you want to call it without making some mistakes and having other people coach us. So if we’re willing to be authentic and own, that we’ve had some of those challenges ourselves. And here’s how I’ve come across it. 

Tina Allen: 00:37:00 – And I know you can do it too. But I want to call it out for you for what it is right now. And I need you to make this change. 

Tina Allen: 00:37:06 – I’ve got your back. 

Tina Allen: 00:37:07 – I know what you’re going through. Here’s how I handle it. I think that’s a way to really drive some authentic conversations around performance feedback. 

Tonille Miller:  00:37:17 – Yeah. I would agree. And actually, I think on that note too, another way to tell a story, if you think about, let’s say your culture, they’re not doing much for feedback. Let’s say people aren’t asking you for feedback as a leader. You can start, right? You can go to them and say, hey, manager, I’m your director. I’m your VP. I’m whatever. Hey, manager, I’m really trying to work on x, y, or z myself. Could I get some feedback from you? 

Tonille Miller:  00:37:40 – And by you kind of putting that out there and making yourself a little bit vulnerable, I think that’s a great example for others to do that too. 

Tina Allen:00:37:45 – I love that. 

Steve Schloss: 00:37:49 – I tell a very personal story often to people about a time early in my career where I had a couple of things occurring here. One is I had someone who cared enough to want to provide the context for which the feedback they were giving me was important. There was a certain timing and approach that they felt it was best to deliver. And ultimately, the place by which they were delivering it also had an impact. 

Steve Schloss: 00:38:19 – And in this case, the timing and all things considered related to him taking me out of my role and putting me into a different role, which completely it just floored me. I had assumptions of one thing, and he had a different idea of me in another way, thinking very positive towards my future. And I translate that to when in your life, when in your career have you received feedback, whether you asked for it or not, or maybe you did, that was material enough that helped shape the person that I’m sitting across from the table today. 

Steve Schloss:00:38:58 – What is it that made that feedback valuable to you and how you handled it at that time? And let’s talk, bring that today. What can you learn from that? And ultimately, let’s talk about you and the situation we find ourselves in. And let’s storytell about the situation. I think the what, how, why is a wonderful tool that has certainly been used before. 

Steve Schloss: 00:39:24 – And I think in its simple definition is in some ways the most effective thing you can do, and not to overcomplicate, but the ability to tell the story and personalize to people is something that most leaders do not do a very good job at, because to put themselves in a vulnerable place to set up the conversation with an ego is sometimes difficult for them to do. 

Kristy McCann Flynn:00:39:51 – Yeah, I think you’re hitting a ton of good points. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:39:53 – And I’m going to ask the daring question here to really help people. 

Kristy McCann Flynn :00:39:59 – When you get the feedback, how do you handle someone who refuse to take it? And goes to somewhere, I call the bad place.

Kristy McCann Flynn:00:40:10 – So, as leaders and as professionals, you know what I mean, how do you handle the objection of feedback, especially when it’s not landing well, you know, the complete opposite of what Steve just said, but, you know, how can you help people to be able to get them beyond there? 

Tina Allen: 00:40:28 – Well, I’ll jump in,  I think you recognize that it’s difficult for them to hear the feedback. I think it’s important for you to recognize the emotion. And I think you say something to the effect of, I realized that it’s difficult for you to hear this feedback. And I think it’s important for me to give it to you. I’m happy to give you some time to take it in. 

Tina Allen: 00:40:48 – If you want to come back to me with some questions, happy to have as many follow up conversations you need to have to get you to a place of acceptance, I think you need to accept the feedback because perception is reality. So whether it’s your reality or not, there is this perception and we’ve got to work through this perception, because we know that’s going to impact your brand, your reputation in the organization and your ability to be effective. So I think you have to recognize the feelings you’re having. 

Tina Allen:00:41:18 – It’s like any other social interaction you have, right? Any other interaction where you’ve got to provide feedback that’s maybe not, that that’s challenging, right? You’re going to set it up in a way that makes it emotionally safe for that person. I think part of that emotional safety is recognizing that they’re having those feelings and that it’s difficult for them to receive and you give them some time. And so it’s not one size fits all for everyone. 

Tonille Miller: 00:41:46 – Yeah, I agree with that. 

Tonille Miller:  00:41:50 – Yeah, I was gonna say totally agree. And I love the fact that you bring up not only acknowledging that it needs to be a safe space and that they may not agree and that they need to kind of think through their own feelings, but also that you’re making it about them. You’re like, Hey, I’m delivering this for you. This is because this is what other people are seeing. And we want to make sure that you’re seeing the best way possible. So that’s why I’m doing this for you. I think that’s huge for the receiver. 

Bridget Wilder: 00:42:12 – And the other component of that I personally had a leader where after 360 feedback, they didn’t agree with the feedback that was received and after acknowledging and focusing on the perception they still wasn’t there. And so I had to start asking them questions and accent to flip the script to say if this if you were giving this feedback and this was the action that you got from the employee, how would you want to help them get to the point of letting them know that you are invested in their success. And sometimes that doesn’t work. 

Bridget Wilder:00:42:47 – So you may want to role play and let them see their own behavior and have them coach you to To help them to get where they need to be because as we’ve all say it. Our goal is to help them to grow to do better to be better. And if we move from just giving them the feedback. We’re now being their coach are now invested in their success. And that’s really key. 

Steve Schloss:  00:43:12 – Yeah. 

Steve Schloss:  00:43:15 – Given the difficulty that you’re going to be potentially facing because you know the person you know how they might react or let’s say most cases that’s the case. Oftentimes you might be biased when you’re engaging this conversation because you’re preparing for a negative reaction and You’re going to in some ways. How do you learn to automatically through lens of bias to just listen and react in the moment rather than bias towards an outcome because you have an intention. 

Kristy McCann Flynn00:43:47 – I think that’s really important because we look at negative things can happen. And then we look at things positive, you know, hopefully positive things will happen. So I know that we’re coming up on time. And so like, you know, that they get into like an actual like, you know, performance management. You know, take away. 

Kristy McCann Flynn 00:44:08 – What are the start stop to continue this that you guys were recommending people listening out there and What do you want to do when it comes to… stop to… continue to do this people wrap this up a little bit for everybody. 

Sharon Jautz:  00:44:26 – I think they need to start having conversations. I don’t, I don’t think people communicate And they, they don’t provide feedback and and I think it’s just so important to get into the habit of providing feedback when it’s appropriate and in a timely way. And I think that people Put things off until it bubble. You know, it’s like it’s like I’m like a soda bottle. If you don’t, if you don’t let the gas out a little bit, a little bit. It just explodes. So I think you’ve got to start having those conversations. Sooner rather than later. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:45:01 – And like I said, you know, the people are people are people right they don’t want to have difficult conversations. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:45:07 – And more often than not, everybody wants to have happy conversations, so that’s easy. It’s the difficult ones that you’ve got to start being, not good at, but you’ve got to start practicing so that you become good at it. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:45:22 – Start having it. Yeah. Yep, I agree. 

Tonille Miller:00:45:24 – And I think that touches on something in that we need to get over the emotional aspect of feedback, right? That’s the big hurdle because I’m afraid to give it, I’m afraid to get it. Like, it’s just get over that. And like you said, it’s easier said than done, I know. What I’m getting at is if the organization operationalizes, it gives us the tools, or even if they don’t, but we just practice it a lot because we know this is important. That’s what’s going to get us there. 

Tonille Miller:00:45:48 – And it’s like the drills that we were talking about earlier, all of that is ways to get there and get over the emotion. 

Tonille Miller:00:45:53 – That’s not going to serve anybody. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:45:54 – Agree. 

Steve Schloss: 00:45:56 – I would say you need to start doing two things better. You need to start observing and be more thoughtful about what it is you’re responding to and be better at that. And you need to start listening better. I think you need to be more effective in allowing feedback conversations to be more about you listening and responding and helping as opposed to talking, delivering, and projecting answers. 

Bridget Wilder: 00:46:24 – And building on what Steve said, I think you need to start practicing active listening skills because a lot of times when people listen, they’re listening to respond versus listening to understand. And then in terms of what they need to also start doing, they need to start doing ongoing feedback, making it a continuous process versus waiting until the end of the year, where it’s viewed as criticism versus constructive feedback. That’s true. 

Tonille Miller:00:46:59 – And I think that also building the relationship ahead of time, when we think about feedback, the key of any feedback success story is I already have a relationship with you. You know, I have your back, that type of thing. So not just having the conversations, but start those relationships early on, which is obviously easier said than done too. 

Tina Allen:  00:47:16 – And I would just bring back what everyone else said and say that we have to start giving feedback with positive intent. And we have to stop saving feedback for one time during the year. 

Tina Allen: 00:47:28 – Please stop doing it. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:47:31 – Please. It’s amazing. They’ll tweet it, but they won’t talk about it. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:47:38 – So what about some other stops? 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:47:40 – You know what I mean? 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:47:40 – Because like I could probably go on for days about some stops. But I’d love to hear from you guys. If there’s one thing that you want people to stop doing when it comes to conversations and feedback and performance management, what would it be and why? 

Tina Allen: 00:47:52 – Stop judging, stop judging. I keep going back to that because I just think about all of the experiences I’ve had in various organizations. And the feedback conversations that I’ve had to help leaders and employees manage through judgment always creeps in. And I think that’s where we really get into trouble. 

Tina Allen: 00:48:14 – So we have to stop judging, we have to learn how to recognize when we’re judging, we don’t always recognize when we’re judging, if you just think about that, even on a personal level, just think about your personal life and some of the interactions you might have with family and friends, right? Judgment creeps in. 

Tina Allen: 48:27 – Let’s be real. 

Tina Allen: 00:48:28 – Judgment creeps in. And I think we have to really learn to stop judging. And if we can start to strip away judgment from organizational feedback, it will be much easier to approach it with positive intent. Judgment really creeps in. It’s kind of part of the unconscious bias framework, right? Yeah. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:48:49 – And I think assumptions. I think one of the biggest things is that people assume and you shouldn’t assume you should ask. You know, they’re going to storytelling mode for a second. I’ll never forget a manager who came into my office and the beet red face that they had and they had just delivered, you know, feedback to someone and it didn’t go well. And you know, as I was like, you know, trying to peel the layers of the onion as to like, you know, why it didn’t go well. He was putting all of these assumptions out there on the table. 

Kristy McCann Flynn:00:49:25 – And you know, I actually had to, you know, take pause and like, do you understand what’s going on in this person’s day to day outside of work? 

Kristy McCann Flynn:00:49:33 – No. I’m like, I think you need to have a conversation there. You know, I mean, you’re assuming one thing. And meanwhile, like, you know, I mean, I had a basic understanding of what was going on outside of work where they had the ability to trust me, but they didn’t trust their manager and not having that conversation. And so it was about coaching them to be able to get to a safe place so that they weren’t assuming things of each other and that they were making pretty clear, actual things. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:50:00 – But by showing the power of vulnerability. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:50:02 – So that’s one thing that I want to say is that we always assume things. A lot of times that we assume we’re completely wrong. 

Bridget Wilder:00:50:10 – I have two stops. One is that people need to stop winging performance feedback. They get into the meeting and they’re not prepared to give specific information to help the person understand. And then the other stop is once you give the person the feedback and you give them the timelines, don’t just leave it there and say, well, hey, it’s due today. Did you do it? Set up post-checks meetings that are already scheduled so you don’t forget about it. And in those post-check meetings, ask the employee what challenges that they face, where they are in it. 

Bridget Wilder: 00:50:47 – Do they need the resources? What support can you provide? And again, that moves you from just being the person that gave them feedback to being their coach that’s invested in them being successful, which is going to most likely lead to them providing you the performance that you need. 

Tonille Miller: 00:51:03 – Yeah, I think along those lines, too. One of the things, there’s an echo. One of the things that I found really helpful is that, you know, when you’re giving someone feedback and you say, here’s what I noticed. Here’s the impact it had, etc. I like to actually ask them, what would you do differently next time instead of being prescriptive and telling them because you want them to be committed to building that solution. 

Kristy McCann Flynn: 00:51:25 – Yeah. Well, so we’re going to wrap with the continues. You know, what are the things that you know that you’re doing in your organization that help other people continue when it comes to the conflict? 

Steve Schloss: 00:51:40 – I think we might Part of how the culture operates each and every day and don’t make it a process that exists in its own contained space at a certain time. Just continue. I think your point of constant conversations is the greatest recipe for success so that you’re neither overcomplicating something, you’re just making it part of who you are at the workplace and treating it as an open part of dialogue as opposed to unique need to have a specific conversation and not treating it as a contained process. 

Sharon Jautz: 00:52:23 – I would agree with that. It’s become, it’s part and parcel of my company to have to, we do have a feedback environment and it’s very respectful. It’s welcome. It’s encouraged and it’s very public. It’s a, you know, it’s very, it’s just something that’s expected. It’s not weird. There’s nothing weird about it. I’ve worked in environments where it is. So Steve, to your point, I mean, I shouldn’t live in a in a land all by itself. It should be part of everyday life at your company. 

Tonille Miller:00:52:55 – Yeah. 

Tonille Miller:00:52:57 – And I would actually throw in being really proactive and this may be a little bit more for the more junior folks, but even the more senior folks. I mean, continuously don’t wait for people to give you feedback. Go and get it. Like take your career in your hands. This is your competitive advantage. I feel as an individual in growing is getting feedback constantly. 

Tonille Miller: 00:53:14 – It gives people a chance to kind of, like we said, with a pop bottle, Sharon, with a soda bottle, it’s like it gives people to let a little of their steam out before they even think they have to. So they never really have to blow on you. Regardless of what’s up, down, around, whatever. 

Bridget Wilder: 00:53:31 – I think it’s important to continue to be engaged with your employees, to be actively involved in having that engagement where when it’s time for feedback, it’s not something that is taken as, oh, you’re just doing this because it’s part of your job. If you’ve actively engaged and build a relationship, you have relationship currency that allows you to give that feedback with the proper intent. 

Tina Allen:00:53:57 – And then I would add, yeah, to everything that everyone else has said, I would say to continue to iterate your performance feedback and your feedback culture framework and processes as your culture and your organization continues to evolve and grow. Be mindful that you may have to reshape your framework around your feedback culture. 

Kristy McCann Flynn:00:54:23 – So just be open to looking at it as an iterative process. Well, thank you. I mean, the one thing that I’ll say before we wrap up here is that you don’t know what you don’t know. So go and ask someone. That’s how we’re all going to help ourselves and help other people and improve. So don’t be shy. But I just want to say thank you so much for an amazing conversation that you all provided and I hope the audience has some really good key takeaways. And if anyone missed today, we’ll be sending this out on social for those that signed up. 

Kristy McCann Flynn:00:54:59 – And thank you and have a wonderful Friday, everyone, and have some really good conversations. Yep. 

00:55:04 – Thanks, everyone. 

00:55:06 – Bye. Bye.