Giving Effective Feedback (20 Minute Manager): A book review by Bob Morrfis

Need a briefing on the basics of giving effective feedback? Look no further.

Giving Effective Feedback is one of the volumes in the 20 Minute Manager series created by the editors at Harvard Business Review Press.

About 90 pages in length, prepared in collaboration with several experts who are identified, each volume provides essential material in the form of a crash course or brief reminder, “a concise practical primer that will help you brush up on a key management topic.”

Its purpose is to provide a briefing on the basics of an important business activity.

It is NOT a comprehensive examination such as Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen’s excellent Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well.

It is a NOT an anthology of 10-12 HBR articles in their entirety.

Rather, its authors suggest, “Whether you’re dealing with a problem employee or praising the good work of a colleague, you need to communicate in a way that promotes positive change in others. Giving Effective Feedback¬† quickly walks you through the basics of delivering feedback that gets results.”

For example, when

o Choosing the right time to talk.
My Comment: I’ve found that mid- to late-morning on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday is the best.

o Engaging in productive dialogue.
My Comment: Converse with, don’t talk at.

o Helping both star and struggling performers.
My Comment: Expectations must be realistic and goals achievable.

o Developing a plan for effective follow-up.
My Comment: Explain the why. Collaborate on determining the what will be done by when. Offer to help with how.

If you are in need of more substantial guidance, there are other sources to consider, including aforementioned Thanks for the Feedback as well as others recommended on pages 81-90.

The list price is $12.95 for the paperback edition but Amazon sells it in several formats and editions for less. The return on a modest investment will be limited only by how hard and how smart each reader applies effectively relevant material.

One final point: There are no feedback issues. Only business issues.

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