Friday reflection v. 8 - Running a mile in the wrong direction


It's been a while since I did a public Friday reflection. I think a lot about why there was such a long hiatus after more than two years of writing every Friday. Can I draw parallels with contributors who don't get to their reflection - or who get going and suddenly stop? Yes, I would say. We all need feedback and affirmation to challenge ourselves. 

All the research shows that what makes us perform better and feel better is receiving feedback. It's not surprising. Who doesn't want to feel seen and appreciated? And get immediate feedback if you're heading in the wrong direction, instead of waiting until you've run a mile in the wrong direction? Yet that's exactly what employees miss most from their boss: feedback.

Why is this happening? Why is it so difficult? I think that if it was difficult before the pandemic, it is certainly not easier now. As a manager, how can you give continuous feedback if you no longer see your employees in their daily work? What should you give feedback on - the final result or the fact that you actually toil along the way? Of course, it is on the toil that we need to be seen and appreciated. After all, the result shines on its own and it's already too late to do anything different.

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a leader who is going to start with Rolf. He made a great analogy with the world of sports. If you are playing matches at an elite level, everyone knows their role and everyone knows what needs to be done for the team to be successful. Together you watch and analyse the match - regardless of what the scoreboard shows. What went well? What should we have done differently? What should the defenders think about for the next game?

But do we do the same at work? We play matches all the time. Do we ever watch the game and reflect? No, it might not be that easy. But what happens when you let your employees reflect on the week's match: what was good, what was not so good and what could be done differently?

Then think about taking five minutes per individual and giving them feedback on their individual reports. What do you think would happen then? Would next week's match be better or worse? Would you ensure that they don't run a mile in the wrong direction? Would your staff feel less alone on the pitch?

This might be something for you to reflect on. If you need a sounding board, I'm just a phone call away. Needless to say, we have a fantastic solution for this very thing in Rolf, which will also bring you a lot of other benefits. But we can talk more about that in a meeting 😊


Pia Nilsson,