There are some great old myths that people still believe: ‘cracking your knuckles gives you arthritis’, ‘toads give you warts’ and ‘going outside with wet hair will give you a cold’. I’m sure you know others.
‘Feedback is a gift’ might also land in that camp. I’m not cynical, rather I think that feedback is critical but framing it as a gift is a bit of a misconception. We were lucky enough to spend the day with Matthew Thompson, CEO of Fifteen Cornwall and he was explaining that apprentice chefs receive feedback every single shift. Not just ‘well done’ or ‘could do better’ – but against a specific set of behaviours. And all in less than 5 minutes. This is impressive and is critical to the success of the apprentices as they learn and develop.
I’m confident if you asked any of the apprentices: “would you like a gift?” then I think they would reply “Yes please, a new set of kitchen knives would be great”. I think if you offered ‘feedback’ as a suitable alternative then they would give you a funny look..............
Feedback is healthy and critical to helping people develop. So – along with the group of leaders we were with last week – try and consider how you make this as part of your staple diet? 5 minutes a day? And this good news is that you can save the gifts for really good stuff!