By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to conduct on-going feedback to enhance mutual performance. Reading time 3:37.
Flying an airplane, a pilot gets immediate feedback on the plane’s flight performance from a gauge in the cockpit aptly called an Attitude Indicator.
The Attitude Indicator features a graphic of an airplane on a gyroscope that gives the pilot a visual orientation of the airplane to the horizon.
That graphic of the airplane on the Attitude Indicator tells the pilot if the plane’s tilt (pitching) is too high or too low; if the plane’s yaw of the nose left or right is off mark and if the plane’s roll (banking) is out of balance side to side.
Feedback in real-time is vital to a pilot. And to a leader.
That’s why every leader should have a photo of an airplane’s Attitude Indicator prominently displayed on their desk or on a table in the office where they often meet with others. The photo should remind the leader just how important it is to engage others with immediate and meaningful feedback to keep the conversation heading on course.
Feedback is critical. In real time. For real results.
Maybe that’s why the Attitude Indicator –the only gauge displayed in color– is afforded such a prominent location on the instrument panel. It’s centered between the air speed indicator (how fast the plane is flying) and the altimeter (how high the plane is flying).
To foster timely feedback, the most effective leaders pause periodically and ask the other person for tacit approval to go on by checking for understanding and acceptance of what you are proposing.
To get feedback, ask for it. To spawn a greater culture of feedback, give it. Reward it. Recognized it. Respond to it. The lack of feedback spawns signs like this one on a disgruntled and disengaged employee’s desk in a call center:
Doing a Good Job here
is like Wetting your Pants
in a Dark Suit. You Get a Warm Feeling
But No One Else Notices.
Feedback feeds performance. Timely feedback feeds timely performance.
Watch kids on the playground playing Hot-or-Cold where one hides an object and then the others search for it in following the feedback they get in real-time: “You’re getting warmer. No, cold, cold.” Then as adjustment are made, you hear “Warmer, you’re getting warmer….etc/”
Clearly the feedback in real-time engages others to perform at their highest potential and sparks discipline to better achieve a goal.
In a study at the University of Minnesota of 3,000 people over three years, half participated in the study to lose weight and the other half participated in the study to prevent weight gain.
Those who got feedback daily—those who weighed themselves daily— lost twice as many pounds as those who weighed themselves weekly.
Leaders know that when you pay more attention to your feedback, your productivity increases.
That’s what happened the famous Hawthorne Effect where worker productivity at Hawthorne Electric in Chicago measuring it or paying attention to it 24/7.
Savvy leaders today know their Millennial staff – known as General Y – grew up expecting and getting frequent feedback from teaches, front parents, from coaches and then honed those same instant feedback fortunes, according to research conducted by Robert Half International.
Six in 10 Millennials surveyed said they would like to hear from their supervisors at least once a day, and only one in 10 indicated they’d be fine with weekly discussions.
Of course, there are other reasons to give your staff members regular feedback — most notably that it reinforces positive behaviors and redirects problematic ones on the spot.
Just like a pilot knows when the plane’s attitude is off the mark, varying from the planned flight and headed for a rough landing.