Could you imagine having a performance review every week?
Or having to talk about every outcome (good and bad) your team produced in a week?
Even worse, could you imagine pointing out shortcomings and pointing out the losers in the group?
Sounds a little cringy in a business setting doesn’t it?
But as sports fans we do these things all. the. time. It's called cheering. It’s how we talk about games. It’s the criticism we dish out after a disappointing loss when we don’t have any problem calling out the player whose slump is bringing down the rest of the team.
As sports fans, we’re not only capable of delivering feedback we excel at it. And then we clam up when we encounter similar conversations in business. We dread performance reviews. We shy away from tough conversations. We avoid critical feedback.
Here are a few gentle reminders of what sports fans already know:
Feedback is both expected and obvious in sports. The dropped ball, costly error, missed free throws... it's obvious when an athlete comes up short. And it's expected a coach or teammate is going to asked what happened and provide feedback.
Get to the point. In-game adjustments are the result of feedback. Those conversations often last just seconds on the sidelines because it's on to the next play. You don't need to overstate feedback, dwell on it, or spend a long time addressing it. Get to the point and get to the next play.
Good versus great. There's a difference between a routine play and a spectacular, highlight making play. It's also the difference between doing your job and doing a great job. It's important to accurately acknowledge both.
Sports fans already have a blueprint for how to approach performance reviews and the conversation skills needed for giving and receiving feedback. This is the time of year to put it all into practice.