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Find the Coaching in Criticism

By Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone

Feedback is crucial. That’s obvious: It improves performance, develops talent, aligns expectations, solves problems, guides promotion and pay, and boosts the bottom line.

But it’s equally obvious that in many organizations, feedback doesn’t work. A glance at the stats tells the story: Only 36% of managers complete appraisals thoroughly and on time. In one recent survey, 55% of employees said their most recent performance review had been unfair or inaccurate, and one in four said they dread such evaluations more than anything else in their working lives. When senior HR executives were asked about their biggest performance management challenge, 63% cited managers’ inability or unwillingness ...

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