By: Maurice Gilbert
When I was a tennis coach, I would begin a training session with my student by communicating my objectives to her in advance of hitting the first ball. All throughout the lesson, I would provide relevant feedback so she would be able to make adjustments. Invariably, progress was made.
The best boss I ever had in a corporate environment did the same thing with me. He provided continuous feedback. An example of this was when he would request that I lead negotiations with our real estate partners. Prior to the meeting, we would map out our objectives and after the meeting, he would provide comprehensive feedback on my performance. My negotiation skills grew rapidly with his input. Point is, he didn’t wait for the once-a-year performance review to let me know his observations. He was always looking for those “teaching moments.”
The other great tool my boss used was to ask me questions after he observed me in negotiations. Questions like, Was that the optimal outcome? If not, what would have been? What steps might you take next time to achieve the outcome you’re looking for? Point being, he didn’t tell me what do to. On the contrary, he taught me how to think.
I encourage you to try the continuous feedback approach. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your staff will grow and stay motivated.
Maurice Gilbert is Managing Partner of Conselium Executive Search, which specializes in placing Compliance Officers and Legal Counsel for clients in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Maurice is also CEO of Corporate Compliance Insights, a worldwide publication devoted to governance, risk and compliance issues. Maurice can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.