Seeing Half of the Story

One of our clients was kind enough to send me what he experienced after I wrote an article about the importance of feedback and compliments.

“Once I paid what I thought was a huge compliment to a Director of Nursing about a member of her nursing staff. As a physician, I said it’s frequently challenging to reach the nurses station by telephone, but whenever I call this particular station, the unit nurse very promptly answers the phone. I relayed to the nursing director that I was very appreciative that this nurse was so immediately responsive to my needs.

The nursing director thanked me for letting her know, and informed me that this particular nurse has been neglecting their duties with respect to patient care and has been on a corrective action plan. The director said that the last place this nurse should be is sitting at the nurses station answering the phone!” My friend the doctor suggested to me that perhaps giving appreciative feedback isn’t always helpful. While that can be true, I think it’s a more complicated and nuanced issue. The following positives came from his comment:

  • The doctor had a productive conversation with the Director of Nursing.
  • The nurse who answered was rewarded.
  • The exchange highlights that employees are multi-dimensional. Even employees who are underperforming in some ways are likely doing at least a few things right, and it’s important to notice what is going right as well as what needs correction.

 Can you think of colleagues or employees who need improvement, but are still doing a lot of things right? When positive actions are recognized and appreciated, we are more receptive to making changes to improve performance in other areas. A 360 review provides individuals with a comprehensive evaluation and allows them to receive valuable feedback not only from their managers, but also from colleagues, clients, and vendors.

I am such an advocate of the 360 review process that I’ve written about it on multiple occasions. By learning and having the opportunity to give and receive feedback, employees can improve their work relationships and leverage themselves and their organizations to the next level.

Is it time for your organization to do a 360?

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