As a part of our coaching programs, we are always giving and receiving feedback. High performers embrace performance improving feedback. Unfortunately, too many families avoid giving or receiving feedback because they take it personally and let it impact their family relationships.
Critique the Performance, not the Performer
I heard a great idea from Lou Holtz, the famous Notre Dame football coach. He said it so masterfully. Coach Holtz said, “I’m never critiquing the performer, I’m simply critiquing the performance.”
I love that idea.
In fact, I’d encourage you to quote Coach Holtz and say that to your family members. I really think it frames up what we’re trying to do.
When I’m giving clients feedback, I’m not trying to personally offend them or attack them. I am simply trying to objectively assess their skill or technique for producing a business result.
Practice What You Teach
I know firsthand, remember, I have my own family business. I have to laugh inside a little bit when my office manager, wife, best friend gives me feedback and I feel myself cringing. It’s human nature to be a little bit sensitive when someone critiques your performance.
Yet, wanting to practice what I teach, I take a quick breath and tell myself that she is simply trying to improve the performance of our business.
And, if you find that even with this great idea your performer is personally offended by the feedback, keep giving feedback. One of the ways to break through behavior patterns that hold us back, is to keep practicing stretching past our capacity. Remind the player that feedback is important and going to keep coming. If you can’t take feedback, you shouldn’t be in business.
So, see if you can get this idea introduced to your family. Learn how to critique the performance without offending the “performer.”
Play to your potential!
Pete Walsh offers family business consulting services, workshops, tools and resources as the founder of the Family Business Performance Center. Subscribe to his newsletter or get in touch to get actionable insights to help your family business grow for generations to come.