Discussing Performance Across Work Styles – Webinar Recap
What are the best ways to discuss performance “at a distance” – and how does our distinct national culture shape our communication style and impact workplace dialogue? Aperian Global’s experts Simone-Eva Redrupp and Addie Johnsen discussed these topics and much more in the “Discussing Performance Across Work Styles” webinar.
Here are some of the key insights from the webinar:
Effective feedback is not always easy; giving it in a constructive way can be difficult
This is particularly true when giving feedback across cultures. For example, as Redrupp points out, in countries where harmony takes precedent, feedback may need to be delivered indirectly or in the form of a story. For countries where honesty and directness are more important, direct feedback could be taken by a person as a “slap in the face.”
“In other words, there are many different ways to try and reach the same outcome – helping another person grow,” Redrupp says.
“Feedback” brings with it many different connotations
Many people associate the word “feedback” with the idea of telling somebody something they may not want to hear. However, it’s important to note that feedback also includes praise. Both sides should know that the ultimate goal is to improve performance.
“When it gets done well, feedback can educate,” Johnsen says. “It highlights the unknown and the unexpected. It provides an opportunity to learn something new. It communicates or redefines job and relationship expectations. It can motivate, encourage positive behavior, motivate someone to work on additional skills, and learn something new.”
Johnsen also points out that effective feedback shows that a manager cares enough about an employee’s work to share thoughts with them – showing that they want them to do better and have the potential to do better.
“For me, the act of providing feedback can be a big motivating factor,” she says. “It’s a catalyst for change to improve performance, and can build trust and deepen relationships through conversations.”
GlobeSmart Insights Can Be Used as a “Starting Point” for Bridging Differences
A statistically validated tool like GlobeSmart can help overcome those cultural differences when it comes to giving feedback. As Redrupp points out, the insights from GlobeSmart provide a “starting point for feedback and dialogue,” pointing out how different cultures typically receive and give feedback.
That can inform managers’ methods and tactics – and even their choice of feedback location.
“For instance, some cultures need feedback addressed to a group, and somewhere outside of the office – maybe a karaoke event, or a restaurant,” Redrupp says. “Other cultures may prefer more direct feedback. I worked with a German company that did one-on-one feedback sessions through a walk around a lake next to the office. It’s all about finding out what is the most effective way to deliver this helpful feedback.”
Another way GlobeSmart can help? Get your GlobeSmart profile to determine your work style – and compare it to the person either giving or receiving the feedback. It can help both parties understand potential trouble spots and make for a better dialogue.
“If you’re working with someone that, perhaps, isn’t as direct of a communicator and as comfortable in confrontational situations, you want to try to engage in more dialogue,” Johnsen says. “Instead of saying, ‘did you notice how many mistakes you made last week?’ you can instead say, ‘I notice your report had more mistakes last week; what was going on? What led to that?’ That might make for a more productive conversation.”
Be Sure to Invite Regular Feedback
By sharing feedback “in the moment” when issues arise, managers and employees can develop a more collaborative, productive relationship. The ideal situation? When both sit down for a more formal review, everything that will be shared should already be known.
“Being able to have that kind of relationship and that level of trust can reduce stress on both sides,” Johnsen says. “There shouldn’t be any surprises between the manager and the employee. It’ll also result in a lot less stress when it comes time to give more critical feedback.”
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