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Rationale for activity: One of leaders/managers’ key tasks is developing others

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Rationale for activity: One of leaders/managers’ key tasks is developing others by giving them high-quality positive and negative feedback. This activity will help you think about how to give feedback that is useful. In addition to the information about feedback in the textbook, remember that effective feedback is:
Specific.
This is one of the most common faults I see in the team feedback activity.
An example of non-specific feedback is: What I have learned from you is to always keep a positive attitude. Can you think of a way this feedback could be made more specific? (Hint: What has this person done that lead you to conclude they have a positive attitude?
About something the individual can control
On her class evaluations, one of my friends received the following feedback in answer to the question, “What can be improved about this class?” “I don’t like how your hair is thinning.” Thinning hair is something that might be controllable but it is better to talk about behaviors an individual can control
Timely
It occurs as soon after the event as possible.
Focused on behaviors, as opposed to attitudes.
If I tell you, “You have a bad attitude,” there are plenty of opportunities for misunderstanding there. What a bad attitude looks like to me may be completely different than what a bad attitude looks like to you, so you address the issue in a different way than I expect to see.
Replace comments on attitudes with examples of behaviors that illustrate an attitude. For example, “You missed our first two team meetings and gave no explanation for why you missed, and you were late to the next two meetings and gave no input to our work.”
Given regularly: don’t save it all for the annual performance review (and, for the WebMBA, consider setting regular times for your team to give feedback again.)
Feedback on positive performance is given more often than feedback about how to improve.
I’ve heard a variety of suggested ratios of positive to negative, the most common being about 3 – 5 comments about positive work for every 1 comment about improvements needed.
Some people suggest always starting with a positive comment first before giving any negative feedback. Some suggest making a “feedback sandwich” with positive feedback, negative feedback, and positive feedback. However, you do it, it’s a good idea to let the recipient know why you are giving feedback (example: because they are a valued contributor and you want to see them succeed).
Instructions: For this activity, provide feedback for the following scenarios and explain how your feedback meets the guidelines above. Additionally, please describe any leadership styles, behaviors, or theories that you might be able to utilize to best deliver your feedback or continue to develop the relationships presented in each scenario. Though the scenarios presented here may be somewhat simple, please work to be detailed and thorough in your response and do what you can to make your feedback meaningful.
Positive Feedback Scenario:
You are randomly assigned to a team to complete a group project in the WMBA 6000 class. One of your teammates (Lin) has taken the initiative to write up a project final report incorporating the work of the rest of the team. The result is impressive. It is accurate and puts everyone’s work together in such a way that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Please write down the feedback you would give Lin. In a following paragraph, explain how your feedback meets the criteria for effective feedback.
Negative Feedback Scenario:
Your team project has been going well, but one member has started to come late to meetings (something you all agreed would NOT happen when you set up your team ground rules). The situation is not out of control, but you can look ahead and see lots of work down the road where each team member will be needed. Please give the student negative, but constructive, feedback. After your feedback, explain how it meets the criteria for effective feedback.
Negative Feedback Scenario:
One of your subordinates, Denise, arrives at work at in a bad mood because someone cut her off on the freeway on the way to work. When she arrives at work, you remind Denise that she will be working with Carey to complete the third-quarter report that is due to you this afternoon. When Denise meets with Carey, she finds that he has not done most of his part of the report, which will cause them to be late delivering the report. Denise loses it, tells Carey he can complete the report himself if he’s going to be so unprofessional, and refuses to talk with him any further. You happen to be in the hallway and hear their interchange. You now have Denise in your office. How will you address the situation? After your feedback, explain how it meets the criteria for effective feedback.
Negative Feedback Scenario:
You asked your co-worker, Michael, to drop off a package at the post office after work on Tuesday. It is not too far out of the way home for him to do so, and you live farther away. It is important that the package be at its destination, National Manufacturing Incorporated, by noon on Wednesday. It includes a proposal that is going to be discussed at a meeting with international business partners who are in town only for that day. You find out on Wednesday afternoon that the package never arrived. You are responsible. After your feedback, explain how it meets the criteria for effective feedback.

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