Archive for January, 2011

Reviewing the game film real-life lessons from the leadership “field”

While coaching an executive in Wisconsin I interviewed his boss to get his feedback as part of the executive coaching process.  In the conversation, the boss tells me a pretty significant piece of feedback about  a behavioral tendency that’s negatively impacting the executive’s performance.

I asked (call me old-fashioned),” have you given him that feedback?”

The boss responds, “I guess not directly.  More in an OBLIQUE way.”

I ask (stealth coaching), “have you considered giving them that feedback not in an oblique way?”

The boss said, “yeah I guess I should do that.”

Here’s the real question.  Why do we have such a hard time saying things straight to people?  Why do we make it so much more difficult than it has to be?  Why can’t leaders simply give performance feedback in a way that is productive and healthy?

Stop giving people oblique feedback and start giving them direct feedback!

In my book “Coach to Win the Leadership Game” I outline why coaching is such a great leadership style that actually sets leaders up beautifully to give straight feedback to their team members.

When you have a coaching culture, people expect straight feedback so that they can improve their business results.

My friend says that most leaders aren’t great at giving feedback in a way that can be used to improve performance.  I was almost shocked to hear this senior executive of a highly successful company openly saying that he was giving oblique feedback.

 Stop it.