What is often the most cringe-worthy word during performance review season? Hands down, it’s “feedback”. Managers dread giving it and few people on the receiving end want to hear it. Of course, feedback given well is useful to help people grow. Let’s be honest though, it has negative connotations. Even good feedback is usually a precursor to the “feedback sandwich” which suggests you surround the negative input with positive observations to soften the blow.
To be the kind of leader that uses performance review time to inspire your team, I challenge you to include one of the most motivating and useful management tools: Appreciation. (Explore more about using Appreciation with is in our previous post)
Using appreciation is a game changer. Leaders I work with who include frequent, honest, and specific appreciation see a tremendous ripple effect in the satisfaction and energy of their team members. Performance review season is a great time to get started. Below is a framework to help you distinguish between "Feedback" and "Appreciation".
DO give specific improvement feedback. We all can benefit from kind and honest reflections of our strengths and weaknesses. But this year, wash the "feedback sandwich" down with a nice cool drink of appreciation, and perhaps you and your team members will leave review meetings both sated and energized.
I'm curious... How do you use appreciation - During review season or all year long? How do you intend to use it now?