264 - How to Give Feedback to Someone Who Doesn't Work For You - John Laurito

264 – How to Give Feedback to Someone Who Doesn’t Work For You

You have people to lead, and you may be doing an excellent job at it. But it’s a different ballgame when you need to give feedback to your colleagues. Today host John Laurito shares how you can do this without complicating your relationship. Giving feedback is beneficial for company culture. It also promotes team morale and increases productivity.

[0:00] Intro

[1:11] Joe and the faithful listener

[3:08] Look at it if the role is reversed

[3:34] Keep your genuine good motives in mind

[6:32] Give them the feedback

[9:36] Outro

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John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership, and what makes the best leaders so good after running companies small and large over the last 20 years. Today, I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name’s John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader! 

John All right, welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep into all things leader-related to leading yourself and leading others, I am John Laurito your host. So for those of you who are watching me on YouTube, you may say, Wow, it’s kind of crazy, you know, evening mood, mood lighting or what is that? Well, it’s 2:15 in the morning right now on a Saturday. Yes, it’s two o’clock on a Saturday regular crowd shuffles in. Yeah, it’s 2:15 in the morning on Saturday, and I’m doing a podcast crazy, right? 

John This is the first time I’ve done a podcast that 2:15 in the morning. But there is a reason for it. In about another hour, I am leaving with my kiddos to Hawaii. Super pumped. Super pumped. We’ve got a super early flight. And you know what? I had some thoughts. I had some podcasting that I needed to do, and some ideas that I wanted to share. So here I am. Just before leaving for the airport so event, I wanted to share real quick. This will be a quick one, but a good one. I had a faithful listener give me a call recently with a question that I thought was a really great question. And he said, John, I’m in this situation. He said I am leading or supporting about 50 people in my organization, and my role is to help them do their roles better. Now, these 50 people don’t report directly to me. 

John They report to another guy. Let’s call this other guy Joe. Now, Joe is a very domineering, harsh, dictatorial, authoritative leader. He is the type that just barks orders. He doesn’t have many much in terms of people skills. He just really rubs people the wrong way. And I hear this feedback all the time, and he’s very talented at what he does. But ultimately, the feedback that I get is just that his way of dealing with people and responding to people is really overly harsh, and that doesn’t need to be that way. And I know that if he changed, if he was a little bit different, that that that his leadership effectiveness would go up dramatically because he’s got a bunch of people that actually honestly are ready to leave. 

John That’s how bad this is or just didn’t want to put up with it anymore. And they’re great people and they’re kind of on the brink of leaving. And they’ve confided me to me in this. And I’m wondering, what do I do with this? I have no reporting relationship with this guy. I have no. It’s not like I’m part of his team. I’m a whole different business unit. I’m not, you know, he’s not, doesn’t work for me. I don’t have any influence on his compensation. Nothing like that. I’m just a guy that’s gotten some feedback. And I’m wondering, like, how do I even approach this guy? I said, OK, first of all, great, great question. And you’ve got a choice, right? You can decide not to. You can decide to just take it and not do anything with it, or you can do something with any given feedback. I said if the role was reversed and you were this guy, would you want to get the feedback? 

John He said Yes, absolutely. I said, OK, so what? I’d want to get that feedback, too. So that’s point number one. You have to look at it if the role was reversed. Secondly, if your intent is genuinely to help him and really, truly help him understand a problem that he doesn’t see and help him change a behavior that he may not even realize is he has. I mean, he may not even be aware that he’s being as harsh as he really is. If your genuine interest is to help him. Then you have to keep that in mind, and that helps frame your own mindset better going into that conversation. And actually, the words will probably come out a little bit better. 

John OK, so two things one is you’d want that feedback. Secondly, you’ve got genuine good motives and interests in helping him right now. What’s in it for him? Well, what’s in it for him is he’s going to be aware of a problem that he doesn’t know exists, and he’s going to have a choice as to whether he wants to do anything about it. But hearing that whether he likes to hear it or not will be helpful for him. So the way to approach this is real. Simply, what you don’t want to do is go right into it and say it in an accusatory or directive way where you don’t have any kind of permission to give him feedback. So I’ve seen that go south pretty quickly. So what you really want to do is you want to contract with him, so to speak. 

John Get his agreement for some feedback. You want to get his permission to give some feedback. And does he is he interested in hearing some feedback and rules simply with the sounds as Hey Joe, I have something I want to share with you, but I want to first make sure that you’re open to this. I got some feedback that I’d like to give to you, and it’s. The type of thing that I know would help you because you’re very talented, I think you’ve got tremendous potential. And I think if you were aware this would help you and if I was in your situation, I’d want to know it as well. So I would want you to give me this feedback. 

John Are you OK if I share with you some feedback that I got? I think if you approach it like that, he’s going to be a little bit more amenable to a little bit more accepting of hearing that feedback. OK, that’s number one. And that point being, if it was reversed, if this was me, I’d want to know this. And listen, it’s nothing terrible. It’s nothing you can’t change or anything like that, and you can decide if you want to do anything or not with the feedback. But I heard it, and I felt like it’s important for me because I do care about you. I think you’ve got tremendous potential, and I think it would be valuable for you. But you can decide what you want to do with it. OK. Is that fair? OK, so I’ve now kind of set the ground rules, so to speak of. I’ve kind of said, Hey, listen, I heard this. I’ve had a choice. 

John Do I want to do something with it or not? I think it’s important. It’s valuable, and I care about you. And so I decided to do something now. What you do with it is entirely up to you. But my decision is I want to give you the feedback. OK, so now I’ve kind of I’ve softened the shores a little bit. I’ve now broken the ice and have now gotten him, hopefully, more receptive to hearing the feedback. And then at that point, that’s where you’re going to give the feedback. Listen, here’s what I’m hearing now. What I typically do when I get feedback is I give a little bit of the sandwich. I give a little good, bad, and then good. So I might start off and say, Listen, Joe, you’re obviously a super successful leader. 

John You’ve built this huge team. You’ve got great results that are happening and you have a team of people that really know how talented you are. They look at you because you’ve got the skill, you’ve got the knowledge. But here’s some of the feedback that I’m here. And what I’m hearing consistently from a good solid number of people is that they don’t feel that you really care or are approaching them or dealing with them or treating them with respect. And it’s not because of how you probably truly feel, it’s because of the way you talk and communicate to them. So, for example, here’s one of the things that they said happened you said x y z. 

John Something like that gave them the impression that you don’t really care to even hear what’s going on with them, or you don’t even care about the full story, blah blah blah. So now explain a little bit of a specific situation. So again, now the back end of that sandwich. Hey, and again, you know you got all the talent in the world. You’ve gotten huge results so far. This is just one of those things that I know is fixable. And if it’s not something that’s fixable, we got a lot of people that actually are few people that have kind of reached their limit. And they’re starting to say some things like, Hey, you know what? I don’t think I want to stay here anymore. So again, if I’m in your situation, I’d want to hear this. I haven’t observed it as much as they have. So I’m just passing on the feedback. 

John But again, I think if you made some of these changes, took some note of this. Maybe even talk to some of those people. You’d find that it wouldn’t take a lot for you, to make some big, big changes that will really build those relationships and drive your results even more so. Fair enough. Well, take it for what it’s worth. That’s it. Real easy. OK, and you’ve done the right thing by having that conversation now that the leader may not respond great. They may not like to hear that sometimes our ego gets in the way. Depending on the type of person that they are. They may respond negatively to you, but it’s still important that you share the feedback. Secondly, after a little bit of the emotions died down, this person might say, You know why? That’s great feedback. 

John And yeah, he’s right and they’re right. I do need to make a change. You might be the single reason that piece of feedback might actually have an impact that’s the lasting impact that helps make this leader a more effective leader and changes his or her organization. So in any event, great question from a phone call from a friend not long ago and I figured I’d share it with you, so I hope that was helpful. 

John As always, like, share, subscribe, all that kind of good stuff. Let me know the stuff you’re dealing with. Challenges, opportunities, whatever. Share a story with me and then, of course, go down below. Give a five-star review and we’ll see you next time. Thanks, everybody. Bye. 

John Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader for suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on! 

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