360 degree feedback, organizational trust, change & sustainability
Pitfalls in 360 degree feedback: No. 16
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Sunday, 27 May 2007
This the last of our Pitfalls and again it's a general one. Our classic belief is that if someone 'does something wrong' then you get after them with a 'stick' (usually some form of blame or punishment). It's rather ineffective, tends to damage the relationship and is unlikely to get you the response you want.

On being told this, the person who typically manages from the aggressive/authoritarian side usually gets angry and says "So what do you want me to do - nothing?" Strange how short we are on options! Passivity is not an option we suggest. Nor is carrot the only alternative to stick. Some organisations have given away all their carrots (such as pay rises...) and still ended up with the problem!

The way to get change is through dialogue leading to involvement and creative thinking. So, in simple terms, if you think of aggressive-passive as being on a continuum, then assertive, dialogue, involvement, partnership and appreciation are not in the middle. This is, in fact, a triangle and assertive lies at the third corner. That's the place you want to be. Note that aggressive and passive are still options - when all else fails. Pitfall No. 16 (I think it's the last one!):

Following up with stick and carrot - not the way to get the outcome you really want.

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posted by Dr Ron @ 17:33  
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