Real Feedback Creates Really Great Leaders

Mediocrity Kills Great Leadership
August 5, 2013
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August 19, 2013

Why do leaders accept mediocre performance and allow their team members and peers to continue their normal dysfunctional behavior?

It’s not an easy question to answer, because the answer resides in the hearts and deep psychological make up of the people involved. But I know that real feedback can solve the problem. But first, leaders have to stop avoiding real feedback with the kinds of excuses illustrated below.
cartoonI so often witness, spoken or unspoken, the countless ways managers do not address unacceptable behavior and simply go along tolerating poor performance. Watch this brilliant Kinko’s commercial, and see if you recognize any of the behavior it portrays.

All persons portrayed in the example below are purely fictitious for teaching purposes. Any resemblance to existing organizations or persons is purely coincidental.

Although I have not actually heard anybody say these exact words, I think some leaders accept this kind of behavior. When you encounter poor performance, do you immediately address it with coaching feedback? Or do you rationalize and intellectualize your failure to deliver feedback by saying or thinking things like:

  • That’s just the way he is.
  • She’s always been like that.
  • You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
  • People don’t really change.
  • I don’t want to offend.
  • He won’t be open to hearing a different point of view.
  • Why even try?

This kind of inner dialogue confirms your beliefs about those you lead and does not allow you to even attempt any real feedback. Perhaps your previous attempts at feedback may have failed. Does that mean feedback doesn’t work, or could you currently lack the training and skill to deliver effective redirecting feedback?

There are effective ways to approach and engage your employees that absolutely will produce the outcomes you want. So instead of giving up and settling for poor performance, learn how to provide real feedback. Join us at our next CoachQuest Leader-as-Coach Workshop. You will develop your team’s leadership skills alongside other leaders. The next workshop is just around the corner, so register today.


Helanie Scott
Helanie Scott
Helanie (pronounced yeh-LAH-nee) Scott, CEO and founder of Align4Profit in Dallas, Texas, has driven stunning leadership and cultural transformations for an impressive list of organizations. She has mastered the ability to connect with her audiences in the boardroom, classroom, on stage, or in one-on-one coaching sessions. Helanie’s Align4Profit clients rave at the way her engaging programs freshen outdated mindsets and deliver results-oriented, aligned action.