Um, what did you hear me say?
Here are four ways to tell if someone properly understands the performance feedback conversation you've just had with them:
- By assuming they just did - know, though, that the reliability of this particular technique can be very spotty.
- By noticing the actions they take subsequent to your conversation - the reliability of this technique is much higher than #1, but it's also much delayed.
- By noticing the reactions that other people have to the person you talked with subsequent to your conversation - although used by many as their primary method of confirmation, it is neither as reliable as #2, nor as timely as #1.
- By immediately asking the person you're providing the feedback to - in the very same conversation, in fact - what they understand your message to be.
How might this last way work? By asking something like this:
"Tell me, what did you hear me just say? I want to see if I can recognize what I meant in the words you use to tell it back to me."
I guarantee that you'll have no trouble recognizing if what they say is - or is not - what you meant for them to hear. And if it's not, you then have the opportunity to clarify your message right then and there - which is a very good thing to be able to do, by the way.
Just think of all the confusion (and time) that little extra step can save.
Labels: Success at Work