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Required family business skill: Giving performance enhancing positive feedback

Giving Feedback
Giving Feedback
Photo by Pool/Getty Images

Most family business families struggle to give performance feedback, either positive or negative. Effectively delivered performance feedback is vital to create a long-term successful family business team!

When a family learns how to give performance-enhancing feedback it builds stronger, more successful players who can learn how to perform at a high level consistently. Performance-enhancing feedback is a communication skill that involves a certain set of information. Here are the attributes of well-delivered feedback:

• specific in detail about behaviors or actions

• highlights behaviors valued by the business

• connect behaviors to winning in business

In the rare cases when positive performance feedback is given, it happens in a very generic and non-specific way. Let's look at a couple of examples to further illustrate the point.

The family business CEO says something to the family member like “good job -way to go - on landing that recent order from our customer!” The feedback is positive, yet doesn't provide more specific data to help the team member clearly identify what about their behavior led to the positive outcome.

Let's look at similar feedback that encompasses the key attributes of well-delivered feedback. The family business CEO says “good job - way to go! Your fast and creative response to the customers’ need clearly helped us win the job. We know our customers appreciate fast turnarounds of price quotations and your proposed solution really showed our industry knowledge to solve their problem.”

The second performance feedback highlighted key company values of sense of urgency and creativity. The recipient of this feedback has a much clearer sense of the key behaviors that lead to success.

One of the most important roles today's business leaders fill is the ability to not only reinforce right behaviors but at the same time coach and develop their team members. When family business leaders take the time to fine tune their ability to deliver more specific positive feedback they significantly increase their family business’s chances of succeeding in today's highly competitive business world.

Take it upon yourself to learn how to go the extra mile and deliver more specific and tangible performance improvement feedback. Your team members will appreciate it and your team will outperform its competitors a more consistent basis!

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