Constructive feedback and underperformance

How can I be constructive ànd ‘authentic’ at the time, when I have to tell an employee he failed or she under-performed? Managers are mostly experienced and trained to give positive feedback on positive performance. I often see managers become embarrassed, rude, clumsy, nervous… when an employee keeps on making the same mistakes, or when a colleague wasn’t performing as expected. Great leaders and trainers give honest, clear and powerful feedback on the performance of their team members or participants with the four words of the PACE- acronym in mind.

Perform: Focus on the facts, the numbers, the figures. Tell/write in a rational and neutral way your observations. Talk about the issue, not about the person. Use best practices to inspire them.

Authentic: Be courageous enough to bring the message without your judgement, but with your empathy and your suggestion to improvement. Failure is human, share your own experience and launch a call to action.

Constructive: Building trust, building opportunities by using positive words. ‘It’s not done’ becomes ‘What will we/you do next time?’   Magic quote/question to the ‘underperforming employee’:  “what can you do to improve and how can I help you with this?”

Enthusiast: How can one be enthusiast about a failure, mistake or bad habits?  Visualize together how it will be, how it will feel and how others will react, when it becomes a good habit, a succes, a positive contribution. Become both enthusiast of the learning proces you’ll experience, and the positive outcome on all levels: production, teamspirit and FUN.

Interesting manual about managing underperformance:  thanks to the ‘Fair work’ Ombudsman of the Australian Government

IMG_4545 I just gave this lama some constructive feedback. Look at his ears.

Just One Thing:    Agree that time is money?  Timing is important: give this feedback as early as you can, to keep your organization constructively on the right PACE.



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