The Game theory

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People care about growth and development. Everyone wants to improve their performance and that of their team. Performance reviews are often not sufficient to facilitate employee growth. Active and candid feedback, like the in-game adjustments sportsman give each other, is useful when helping someone to adapt, adjust and grow.

Instead of looking at a process in which a manager rates his or her employee, let’s change the conversation, where the manager coaches the employee by sharing expertise, giving actionable insights and debriefing on situations. This promotes constant learning that help companies and teams adapt more quickly to changing business needs.

When I think of feedback, my mind naturally begins to sway, thinking of the performance reviews, the inefficiency of it and the lack of improvement that comes from it.

“Then, I look at sport teams for comparison”.

For instance, after each ball in Cricket, the Bowler nestle closely with his teammates to discuss the next ploy. He receives the ploy and important input from his teammates and then set up for the play. Bingo the input works if not immediately but gradually.

What it says is simple: The teammates don’t want to send a well-crafted email or, worse, wait 6 to 12 months to tell someone what didn’t work with the last over left in the game. That’d be pointless.

So, why do we wait 12 months before giving feedback to our team?

When you have feedback to give a team member, whether it’s positive or negative, give it instantly, and make sure it’s actionable. Don’t wait weeks or months for a review; share the feedback as an opportunity for development or understanding rather than taking it as a routine to be followed.

I am sure you must be scratching your head thinking where to start! It is easy let me help you out:

Share when it’s good and bad – you’re giving them a gift. If they don’t hear the feedback, how can they grow, make a change or know to continue doing the action you’re applauding?

Give feedback instantly, and be specific so that the person can learn from the experience and grow. Over time, this type of feedback becomes infectious; the more you do it, the more others will adopt your model of open, honest and instant feedback.

The result is the creation of a learning culture where people give and receive feedback in the moment, when they need it to support their growth and the company’s success.



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