Providing Effective Feedback - Eliminate the 'but' by using I Like, I Wish, How Could
Monday, January 30, 2017
Providing feedback is a critical component of positive development of our employees and team members.
To give effective feedback, we need to get rid of the 'but'. For example, if you approach an employee and say "You did a good job gathering data from your team for this problem, but I think you need to focus more on getting data from other teams", the only thing your employees hears is what is said after the but and the positive is negated. Instead of 'but' we need to focus on the 'and'
A technique that I have tried that works great is using I Like, I Wish, How Could / What If.
I like that you got your team together for a discussion on your problems.
I like that you gathered data from your team to better understand the problem.
I wish we could have more data from other teams to make sure we understand the full impact of the problem.
How could we do that?
By doing this, you have acknowledged the good work and used the ‘and’ to build upon that work and suggest a refinement to their approach in a positive way. The How Could engages everyone to work together on a possible solution.
If you feel it would be better to provide a bit of coaching to the employee, you can use ‘What if” instead of How Could. For example, you could finish with “What if you got the other teams together for a similar discussion”
Next time you give feedback, try it out and let me know the results – two I likes, a brief pause, an I wish and a How Could or What If.
The latest Harvard Business Review has a great article on managing 'burnout'. One of the key points the article makes is that burnout in an organization is typically not isolated to one individual but is experienced by the entire team. I have taken the liberty of injecting some of my thoughts in the thinking.
The key signs of burnout are as follows:
Exhaustion - I am physically and mentally tired. Physical, cognitive, and emotional fatigue impacts people’s ability to work effectively and feel positive about what they’re doing.
Alienation - I don't feel part of the organization. Feeling detached from the workplace and the work we do. Alienation happens when we don't feel connect to the organization and have a sense of purpose that what we do makes a difference.
Ineffective - I don't feel like I am accomplishing anything and can't do anything right. Feeling ours skills are slipping and worrying that they we won’t be able to succeed in certain situations or accomplish certain tasks ... and I can't get anything done.
What can we do as leaders what can we do about the burnout problem?
Put your own oxygen mask on first - Follow the advice that they give if your airplane looses air pressure - put your own oxygen mask on first - and take care of yourself. If a leader is feeling burnout they will have trouble helping their team.
Watch for Warning Signs
The signs of burnout are obvious in some people but subtle in others. Keep an eye out for tiredness, lack of focus, depressed mood, hostility, and expressions of hopelessness.
Regularly check in with team members to gauge their physical, cognitive, and emotional energy levels.
Improve the Team's Capacity
Help your team them help themselves - Understand what your team's capacity is and manage what work is in process. Work with your team to create additional capacity and limit the number of projects and tasks we have. It is better to work on fewer things and get them done than taking on a lot and getting nothing done.
Protect the core and make sure your team is focused on the primary work. Where possible shield your team from external pressures, including unreasonable or unclear customer and management demands.
Try to limit and manage drop in or 'squirrel' tasks.
Insist on Renewal
Communicate that optimal performance depends on rest and renewal. Encourage people to set sensible limits on work hours. We are only effective for around 8 hours of work a day.
Set an example by keeping reasonable hours yourself.
Make sure your team members take their full vacation time.
While you can't control everything - emphasis that fact that you can always control the impact that non-controllable situations has on your team.
Advocate for the resources your team needs to perform.
Build in focused slack - Create uninterrupted time for people to make progress on important tasks.
Make Team Recognition Meaningful
Regularly highlight wins and successes, even small ones.
Recognize and reward people for helping others.
Note the positive impact of your team’s work on others.
Emphasize Learning and Continuous Improvement
Focus on our organizations vision, strategy and goals and what resources and development activities are required to achieve them.
Share what you’re learning and how you’re doing it.
Get out and benchmark with other organization's to get a better perspective on what we need to do to improve.
Facilitate Mutual Support
Talk regularly about progress toward team goals.
At team meetings, ask what assistance people need and can offer one another.
Be open about asking for and giving support.
Don’t tolerate incivility on your team. Set an example for respectful, compassionate behavior toward others.
Encourage people to share what’s happening in their lives outside of work.
As we launch into our 2016 / 2017 Quality Committee year, I would like to thank St. Mary's for this honour. I will do my best to provide a high level of support for St. Mary's, its patients and the community it supports.
Scott - sincere congratulations for the recognition that St. Mary's Hospital has bestowed upon you. I know that this has come from a long-term commitment and sincere dedication to support the infrastructure of our society with value that will result in the improvement of our communities. Thank you for this.
Nudging Safe Behaviour
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
A 'nudge' alters peoples behaviours in a predictable way without mandating action or introducing significant economic consequences.
For safety, most organizations tend to focus on creating good workplace conditions for safety, but forget about the behaviors that are needed for our team members to make good decisions.
Our HPSC Visual Management Safety SIG has a strong focus on developing safe behaviours in their organizations. As an experiment, we have benchmarked against the concepts of behaviour economics to develop a process to encourage safe behaviours and decisions.
Following PDCA thinking, we have designed a process to develop nudges. The following is a part of the framework for design. If you would like the full process, please connect with me at email@example.com .
Thank you to the book 'Nudge' as well as the Rotman School of Behavioural Economics for inspiration.
I had a group of focused leaders working on improving their problem solving skills. The following are some of the lessons we learned:
WYSIATI - What you see is all there is. Our intuitive brain only sees what is in front of it, jumps to conclusions and relies on bias. Our analytical brain forces us to look beyond what is there and to ask hard questions. Reduce bias in problem solving by making decisions based on data and engaging your analytical brain instead of your intuitive brain. Remember that you need to have an appropriate sample size. Variation in data is more likely in smaller sample sizes and people may judge this data as having the same properties as larger data sets.
Team Bias - Reduce team bias by putting a plan into place to avoid group think. Group think happens when a dominate person sways the thinking of the team. A good way to avoid group think is to have team members write their ideas down before discussions starts.
Problems vs Opportunities - A lot of us have been encouraged not use the word 'problem' as it appears negative and too harsh. Humans are risk adverse and will work harder to avoid loss then for a gain. Problems are a reality in any organization and it is okay to trigger a response to have teams work hard to avoid loss. "Houston we have an opportunity" does not trigger the same response!
Creating Disfluency - Information blindness is caused when we have too much information or the information is not broken down into a form that we can understand. Our minds make a decision what to do with the data so the natural tendency is when there is too much is to do nothing with the data. In order to process the data, we need to transform it into smaller understandable pieces. We use problem solving tools such as graphs and pareto charts to transform the data into something that is easier to absorb and understand. Remember, if you provide the data in a broken down form, teams may still not use the data as the work of transforming the data is what causes understanding.
It is how you practice - It takes 10,000 hours of purposeful practice to become a great chess player. It takes 10 years of purposeful practice to become an world class violinist. How long does is take to become a great problem solver? It is not only that you practice, it is how you practice. Have a plan on how the problem solving activity should happen such as following all the steps in your problem solving model, have an idea of what should be happening at each step, looks for some of the problems than can occur such as bias and 'jumping to conclusion' and learn from your mistakes. You can not learn to be better unless you push yourself. Doing the same thing multiple times does not make you better and sometimes in can actually degrade our skill. Finally, it helps to have an expert problem solving coach to provide you with feedback.
Final thought - Mark Twain says "It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble ... it is what you know for sure that just ain't so"