In last week’s post I talked about the essential steps to take prior to embarking on a professional development programme – including (of course) feedback – for both managers and participants. What role can feedback play in making learning really stick after the programme?
If you’re the one who’s completed the training
- Share your action plan with your manager(s) and ensure you agree on the overall direction and essential priorities.
- Discuss the specific behaviours you will be doing more and less of as a result of the training – what, where and when.
- Ask for feedback from your manager about the specific behaviours; ideally in real time, but also in 1:1 conversations.
- Identify elements of the learning that would benefit other team members and discuss these with your manager – how can you teach and share the learning?
- Buddy up with a fellow participant as accountability partners – give and get encouragement to apply the learning and hold each other to account on a regular basis, checking in and checking up on each other’s progress. You may also ‘feed forward’ (see below)
If you manage the person who’s completed the training
- This can be a good time to ‘feed forward’ – a term coined by Marshall Goldsmith with Jon Katzenbach for a coaching technique where one participant states what they want to achieve and another then offers a suggestion of what action(s) can be taken to make progress. So if your participant shares their post-training action plan with you, you can then offer ‘feedforward’ suggestions for them to apply the learning back at the job.
- Be specific: identify behaviours you believe the participant can do more of. This is not the time or place for adjectives. You may suggest they ‘lead team meetings’, ‘teach two people how to take on a particular task’ or ‘schedule emails rather than send them at night’.
- Observe the participant’s behaviour and give specific, positive feedback whenever you see them doing things right. Note: when feedback is focused on behaviour it’s not creepy; it’s a statement of fact.
- When your participant hits a bump in the road as they apply their new learning back at the job (this is inevitable), support and encourage them.