Feedback and Performance Reviews
In the short video by VitalSmarts (2009), the problem of effective communication between managers and employees is described. Matt, a subordinate, has a conversation with another employee felling excited about the upcoming performance review, while Melanie, his boss, has similar conversation with another manager regarding her feeling awkward of giving negative feedback.
Throughout a video, a recap of the previous feedback session is shown from two perspectives, where it seems obvious that Matt has considered Melanie’s words on the opposite of their meaning, thus has different expectations from the upcoming discussion. While the tone of the video is somewhat humorous, it gives a reasonable explanation of why it is important to maintain clarity in feedback and performance reviews sessions.Project managers require developing and coaching their team members, and providing clear and effective feedback is an important part of this. From the case of Matt and Melanie, it is likely them speaking different language, with Matt to use colloquial expressions against Melanie being firm and adherent to the corporate communication standards. Project managers should seek for different communication approaches depending on the working style of their team members so that their message is effectively comprehended. More than that, delivering feedback requires making some follow-up activity which would summarize the subject and set further directions for improvement or development. There is a fact that Matt and Melanie have absolutely polarized opinion regarding both Matt performance and his personal issues, which is likely to be the consequence of unfinished feedback structure.
Finally, an advanced preparation is required to make sure that all issues are addressed, with both positive and negative sides of employee performance. Being structured in describing professional competence level in various activities would help to differentiate successes from failures, thus motivating team members to improve performance.