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John Rice

Bowland Solutions

Sales & Marketing Director

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Twitter or Annual Review – Which type of feedback do we want?


Performance management requires all elements of feedback - from the brief, yet important, thank you through to the annual appraisal.  When done well there is a natural feel to all of these elements. Let's consider some different types of feedback, starting with the immediate reaction, of which a tweet is a great example; what distinguishes it?
  • Short
  • Emotion driven
  • "Shallow"
  • Useful in the moment
  • Usually forgotten
Of the moment i.e. Facebook comment
  • In an exchange
  • Emotion driven
  • May be recorded
  • May be remembered

Within a week or so i.e. Sunday newspaper

  • Reflective
  • Placed in some context
  • Remembered - maybe raw - emotion
  • Considered writing
  • Will be recorded and remembered

After a year i.e. Wisden Almanac

  • Broad review across a range of topics
  • Plenty of water under the bridge
  • Difficult to get evenness of importance over year's events
  • Bigger picture
  • Seen as a permanent record

Societally now we see much more immediate feedback and 'of the moment' reaction.  The BBC is keen to show us people's immediate reactions however raw and we are encouraged to tweet/getintouch to give our reaction to all news whatever our personal link to the story.

At work we can and should allow some of that to play out - allowing those who have grown up with twitter and facebook to "like"/"retweet" someone's contribution at work.  We may also wish to remember that a thank you (even perhaps face to face!) can go a long way.

But we should not fear considered and reflective feedback.  While I may check twitter to get the immediate reaction of one set of fans to news on West Brom's latest signing, I wouldn't use twitter to assess our progress over a season.  I look to newspapers, the chairman, season reviews to get a broader considered view.  To stretch this analogy further - while today's league table gives some insight into how the last match or two has gone and adjustments required to the team, I need to wait for the league to finish to conduct a full review and consider whether significant changes are required for the year ahead.

A former colleague of mine used to caution me against "escalator management": going up and down with the daily stats.  It was wise advice.  The best feedback on which to make big decisions is considered and in context.  Immediate feedback is useful and essential but I wouldn't make significant decisions based on one tweet.


Author Profile Picture
John Rice

Sales & Marketing Director

Read more from John Rice

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