leadership training

Top 5 Mistakes Managers Make: Lack of Feedback

Management Challenge Program Designer Kate McLagan is penning our latest blog series “Top 5 Mistakes Managers Make”. Over the next five weeks, Kate will explore these critical mistakes that managers make in their relationships with their direct reports. Read on for Part 1: Lack of Feedback.

Manager Mistake #1: Lack of Feedback

Today’s workplace is a feedback desert. Feedback often comes in the form of a once-a-year, awkward, 45-minute conversation with your boss. Without ongoing feedback throughout the year, it is nearly impossible for employees to know where they stand in the company. Employees need to know what you expect them to do, how well you expect them to do, and when you expect them to do it.

They need regular, specific feedback on performance – where they’re excelling and where they need to improve. As a manager, you have to communicate to your employees the insights you have from your vantage point. Your employees cannot grow professionally if you do not relay to them where they are performing well and where they could be better.

They need to understand how their work fits into the overall mission and purpose of the business unit as well as the company. Help your employees see the big picture so that they feel connected to the company’s success. For example, when you delegate a task to an employee, explain to them why the task is necessary, not just in the short term, but for reaching company goals.

They need to know their level of authority: what decisions they can make on their own and when to involve others. Empower your people to do what they were hired to do, while setting clear guidelines for when they should consult with you.

Providing ongoing feedback gives your employees a window into your thought process. When everyone is clear on what is expected of them and how well they are performing, managers and employees can work together towards improvement.

Avoid This Mistake:

  • Frequency of feedback should be based on individual needs
  • Specific feedback tied to performance should set clear expectations
  • Employees must know their level of authority

Learning to Coach: New Technologies and New Opportunities

What’s a leader to do? Today, with their broad spans of control, leaders are frustrated that they can’t spend enough time with each of their employees. And yet, today’s economic environment demands that managers maximize employee productivity.

Leaders are challenged to build skills and provide counsel, while also motivating and inspiring employees to take action.

What Got us Here Won’t Get us There
Historically, role plays have been the holy grail for developing these skills. But role plays demand time away from the job, and the quality of the practice and feedback is widely variable.

The industry had high hopes for solving this challenge with innovative, new simulation technologies. Early generations of branching simulations offered flexibility and delivered consistent quality.

Think about the endless directions a coaching conversation can take. Unfortunately, the limited outcomes of those early simulations didn’t cut it. Interactions in these simulations presented few choices (nodes) and because they were preprogrammed, were highly predicable.

For a while, it appeared that “Level 4” simulations, which use game engines with rules and probabilities, would come to the rescue. They have similar benefits to that of a live role play, but can be done remotely online at a time convenient to the learner, while still delivering a consistent experience and feedback.

Alas, none of these technologies could provide the chief advantage of an in-person role play: realism. The role player could respond in the conversation ad hoc, as they saw fit. We can’t do that with a computer.

Or can we?

Introducing a New Age in Coaching Skills Training

Imagine a coaching skills practice session so real that you will forget that you are interacting with the computer. Hundreds of nodes and voice recognition deliver the most immersive simulation you have ever experienced. Couple that with coaching best practices defined by one of the world’s best-known authorities and a simulation designed by one of the premier designers in the space. Taken together, it represents a breakthrough in Coaching and Leadership Development the likes of which we haven’t seen in a decade.

We’ve got it here at Blueline Simulations. And you have to see it to believe it. My own experience has made me a believer. I want you to experience it for yourself. Give me a call today, and I’ll give you an exclusive peek at the next level of coaching skills training.