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Lessons in motivation from the Oscars

It’s hard to avoid the award season in Hollywood. The dresses, the awkward interviews on the red carpet and, this year, the controversy,  are part of the ritual of the most over-the-top event in a season of over-the-top events in the most glamorous industry of them all. For the few who take home a little golden statue, there’s the thrill of being congratulated and adored by peers and public. For those who go home empty-handed there’s the challenge of being gracious in defeat …..  in front of the cameras.

It’s easy to poke fun at the Oscars, or the Grammys, BAFTAs or Golden Globes. Many of us recoil in horror at the thought of such intense public recognition but, putting mercenary thoughts aside, there is something to learn from these award ceremonies and it’s the value of feedback, peer feedback in particular.

In organisations, people are often reluctant to give feedback. It’s often seen as the responsibility of the manager to their staff, and always in that direction. Peer to peer feedback and upward feedback are even harder to make part of the culture but these are where the real gains in a feedback culture are made. Through leader to leader feedback, leaders will see other leaders in action and will understand the leadership context for the organisation.  Peer to peer feedback at the employee level can be more helpful and accessible than manager to employee feedback.

Giving Clear Feedback is critical.  We have previously shared the experience of 2 coachees who had been told by their manager that things were not going well.  The problem was that their managers were unable to provide sufficient clarity about what they were looking for and, as a result, the coachees were left wondering how to improve something without being clear what the expected performance looked like.

For our coaches this was confusing and for the managers it was a wasted opportunity to motivate. These days most leaders know that they cannot ‘make someone be motivated’ and that their role is to provide an environment that is motivating while managing their team-members in ways that match their motivational drivers. Whichever way you come at it, leaders still need to know what they can do to raise the motivation levels of their team and feedback – clear, relevant and specific – is a golden opportunity.

The Oscars may be extravagant but they are powerful.

 




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