Focus your feedback on folks with high Mileage Per Feedback

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I alluded to this concept:

After coaching, what's the mileage each person gets out of coaching?

This is the defining characteristic of the highest potential people on your team. You give them a pointer, they ask clarifying questions, and then are dramatically better immediately and forever not only on the point you raised but on related points (that’s why they asked clarifying questions).

What’s the opposite?

  • You give feedback, and then have to give the same or similar feedback again later?
  • You give feedback, and then have to chase the person to make sure they do it?
  • You give feedback, and the person sometimes does it sometimes doesn’t?
  • You give feedback, and the person improves just the thing you gave feedback on, but then stops improving and you have to give feedback again to get them through the next hurdle?

As Andy Grove famously wrote in High Output Management, “the output of a manager is the output of the teams under his/her supervision or influence.” You have a limited amount of coaching / feedback time, and should invest it in your highest potential people who are going to make the most of your feedback… i.e. who get the most Mileage Per Feedback.