Posts Tagged ‘performance’

I’ve always had the seemingly unpopular belief that, at least in the business world, anonymity is synonymous with secrecy. And it always seemed to me that secrecy among team members is a bad thing. Then why does HR seem to be all for an anonymous 360-degree feedback process?

In my job, I need to be challenged, criticized, and pushed to improve my processes, especially communication. Call me crazy, but I’m just not sure how anonymous feedback helps anyone communicate. For me, it’s those one-on-one personal conversations from which I learn the most about myself and my approach to leadership.

Susan Scott, CEO of Fierce, Inc., and author of Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time, agrees. Her recent article lists some “worst best practices,” and puts the anonymous 360-degree feedback at the top of the list. Scott advocates the “365 Face-to-Face Feedback” process, which essentially is truly open and honest communication 365 days a year. She quotes Kevin Kelly, the editor of Wired and the author of Cool Tools.

“But if anonymity is present in any significant quantity, it will poison the system… Trust requires persistent identity. In the end, the more trust the better. Like all toxins, anonymity should be kept as close to zero as possible.”

As Mitch Alegre wrote, we have to understand the ecology of our leadership; our environment and context. Do we value open honesty? As leaders, would our followers agree? And do you, as a follower, give open feedback to leaders in your organization so they can improve?

Check Scott’s article here and let us know your thoughts.


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I had the pleasure of hearing Al Switzler, co-author of Crucial Conversations, give a speech a few weeks ago. He described an interesting model of human behavior that was enlightening and even a bit disturbing.

We all need to have those conversations that we have been avoiding, whether it be with a spouse, child, boss or staff member. But HOW we have that conversation is, well, crucial.

What happens when we continue to avoid those conversations? Al told the story of a saw mill that his team visited a while ago to work with their management team. Their productivity had been decreasing of late, and they needed to understand how they, as managers, could get things back on track. Well, I’ll let his co-author tell the story: Feeding the Hog (video)

Fewer than 1 in 3 North American employees are fully engaged.

How many of your teammates are “feeding the hog”, instead of being productive? According to a recent study from BlessingWhite, fewer than 1 in 3 North American employees are fully engaged. What’s much worse is that 19 percent are actually disengaged.

How do you engage your team? Do they feel a sense of purpose? Do you really practice empowerment, or just give it lip service? Have you approached that team member who isn’t pulling his/her weight? Engaged employees contribute to your success, and they stay longer in the company. Help them turn off the hog and get their unique abilities and strengths put to work. Everyone really does want to contribute, but they are individuals who don’t all think the same way. They have unique ideas and ways to do their job. I always have to remember: they aren’t the same as me.

And thank God for that!

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