Posted by & filed under Employee Development.

Dear Suzanne,

I work for a large, corporate publisher, where I was a production manager for almost a decade, and now I’m starting my second year as a director. Ever since my first day of management over a 10 years ago, I have faced the same problems in my career.

A colleague of mine suggested I reach out to you and see if my issue could go in one of your “Dear Suzanne” posts. I’ve got increasingly more pressure to increase productivity in my department, so I hope you can help me out.

When I give feedback to my team, I usually experience resentment and even an effort by the employee to slow play the changes. -At least that’s how it feels on my end. What am I doing wrong? As the manager, it’s up to me to give direction, but I have a gaggle of unruly geese to control, and it’s not working.


Rest assured, you are not alone, and I receive a couple of emails every week with some version of this problem. Basically, “How can I manage performance when no one will accept my feedback?”

4 Steps to Impactful Feedback & Personal EffectivenessHere is a simple, practical way to give feedback that will be well-received and solve your productivity (and teamwork!) problems.

  1. Position the discussion by making an I-Statement that lest the person know of your concern and introduces what the discussion will be about. This helps you get right to the point.
  2. Acknowledge intentions by letting your team member know that you recognize they have good intentions. This is the best way to disarm an otherwise defensive situation.
  3. Describe the behavior or result in specific terms. This lets the employee know exactly what it is that you are concerned about.
  4. Describe the impact (consequences) of their the behavior. This helps create a sense of responsibility. Let them know that their work makes a difference and that it has an impact on the work of others or on the business as a whole. This gives them  motivation to correct the problem.

Please write back and let us know how your next feedback opportunity turns out!

Suzanne Updegraff

Leave a Reply