Feedback: Giving and Getting It Correctly!

Dear Sycamore Family,

Kettering Health Network is a “people organization.” At our core, we are all about our people. Full engagement of our people leads to our best outcomes and drives our mission. Conversation between us—whether it is across the organization, up to leadership, or with those serving in a supervisor role—is the life of a healthy organization. Communication is always high on the list of improvements in our employee surveys. Often, we call it “feedback.” We do it through rounds, meetings, one-to-one conversations, and formal and informal evaluations.

It turns out that how we give feedback determines, to a large degree, how effective it is. In Harvard Business Review – The Feedback Fallacy, Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall present some compelling research indicating that our brains are wired to grow in areas that already have some development. Neurologically, each brain grows more readily where it is already the strongest.

In other words, if our feedback focuses on mistakes, weaknesses, and inabilities, it will not be nearly as effective as feedback that emphasizes strengths, high performance, and stand out capability. Don’t get me wrong; we sometimes must interrupt mistakes and correct weak performance to be safe. But feedback in that area will not drive excellence. On the other hand, when we see somebody, or a team of people, doing something that really works, that is the moment to shine a bright light and do cartwheels and a cheer.

Dissecting the process and appreciating each contributing element is powerful, and repeating the action then serves
as feedback that builds on a strength. I hope you have noticed that this is how we operate at Sycamore Medical
Center, and it is a reason we are improving, growing, and consistently outperforming in the field.

When you participate in this incredible conversation with Kettering Health Network, you provide feedback that is vital to our mission. We first act to be safe, then remember that we excel best when people who know us and care about us see something that really works and celebrate with us.

That’s giving and getting feedback correctly!






Walter Sackett
Sycamore Medical Center

March 7, 2019