Do you believe in the importance of feedback? Do you value it and think of it as an important component of your career development? If so, you don’t need to read any further – although this post will validate your perspective. This post is for those of you who do not believe in the importance of feedback. You know who you are! You’re the ones that say things like “I don’t care what other people think”, “I’d rather not know the truth”, or something similar that rationalizes why it’s ok to ignore or deny other people’s opinion of you.
This may stress you out, but the end of the year is approaching. Along with a million other things, you’ll soon need to think about goal setting for next year – whether you set traditional goals annually or if you use quarterly OKRS (objectives and key results).
When it comes to development planning, there’s no shortage of excuses for falling behind and taking shortcuts. Which of the following sound familiar to you?
- “I just don’t have the money to spend on developing my skills.”
- “I wish I could do something but my manager is holding me back.”
- “I just don’t have the time to focus on development planning activities.”
- “I can’t come up with development goals that are measurable enough.”
In my last post, I provided a few examples of SMART goals for developing competencies or “soft skills” (as opposed to technical skills). Samples were written for the common yet vague goals to “be a better communicator” and “improve leadership skills.” If you haven’t already done so, I recommend you read that post first before continuing with this one, because this post is a continuation of that example. This post will focus on leadership development activities as opposed to leadership development goals.
If you’re reading this blog you’re probably looking for SMART goal examples targeting a competency or “soft skill” for development in your IDP template (or perhaps helping a client to do so.) When setting development goals, people have little trouble translating the tangible ones into SMART goals. “Increase revenue by X% within six months”….”Reduce customer wait time on the phone by 4 minutes by end of Q3”….and so on.
The redefining of performance reviews and the feedback that goes along with them continue to challenge HR. Companies are continuing to drop or revamp their performance reviews. Some changes are more drastic than others. I recently found this SHRM article describing how some organizations are shifting their performance reviews to be adjective-based as a replacement for the now-doomed numerical rating scale. Surely words are better than numbers! The rationale is that adjectives are more personal than numbers, provide more information, and therefore increase employee motivation.
Recently I attended a session at a conference about feedback. I was looking forward to hearing material about feedback-related issues such as 360 assessment, the neuroscience associated with feedback, and examples of companies that have created a “feedback culture.” While these subjects were briefly mentioned, it didn’t take long for the audience Q&A to turn the discussion into a plea for help with performance management.
If you work on your company’s succession planning program, raise your hand if any of the following statements sound familiar:
“Our leaders are engaged in the succession planning process but not so much in the development planning that follows.”
“The development plans of individuals in the succession plan are pretty weak.”
“Leaders have a hard time identifying the development needs of their successors because they think they’re so skilled at everything they don’t need further development.”
Well it’s about the end of the quarter. Time to check in on your goals. And don’t forget about your development plan. Do you even know where it is?
A quarterly check-in may sound stressful if your behind on your development plan or even your goals, but it will only get worse if you don’t do it. Everyone falls behind at some point. The good news is checking in regularly provides you opportunity to review your progress, assess your obstacles, and take action to get back on track.