#13 - Life After Feedback
The manager was on the brink of depression. Nothing he did seemed to work. Despite years of experience in an operational environment, he was considered a poor performer and quickly losing his self-respect and that of his employees, colleagues and superiors. He was highly trained and had been so eager to turn his large disjointed unit into one high performing team. Unfortunately his approach was considered unorthodox and rejected by the prevailing culture.
After 2 years and multiple feedback conversations, the senior executive at the helm had approved a devastating performance evaluation: The manager was considered a loose cannon; a liability to the organization. His new boss wasn’t ready to give up on him though. He asked the manager to consider coaching to address areas for improvement. A tag team of coaches would be there to support him: His immediate manager as coach for the day to day, and a personal development coach to help him reclaim his personal power and self-esteem.
Six months later, the executive’s gamble paid off. The manager had become the go to person helping a large chunk of the organization navigate the choppy waters of re-engineering. His operational expertise and out of the box thinking was sought after. He had gained the trust of employees and executives alike. What made the difference?
No one should have to live through such an experience. However, if you are, how can you stay sane and take back your power? Having lived through similar challenges myself and worked with clients like this one who where on thin ice, I would suggest the following recipe:
- The managers’ resilience despite everything thrown at him.
- The executive’s willingness to support him.
Being at the receiving end of negative feedback or of a poor evaluation is never easy. At the same time, making use of negative feedback as a springboard for shifting things around is indeed an astute choice that can turn a potentially disastrous downward spiral into an amazing upward trajectory in very little time.
- Ask for help or take it when offered: deep down, most people desire success for you. In my experience, I’ve never encountered a situation where help is simply not available. Are you willing to accept it?
- Acknowledge your part in the good, the bad and the ugly. This is not always easy, but it takes two to tango. Taking responsibility for your contribution to an impasse will go a long way to turning things around, in your favour.
- Trust your inner voice, it will always guide you through to the other side of the tunnel.
- Surround yourself with encouraging people, allies who can see the brilliance in you.