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January 31, 2005

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects--Tell Me How I'm Doing

By: Jack @ 2:28 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Tell Me How I'm Doing: a Fable about the Importance of Giving Feedback by Richard L. Williams, AMACOM, 126 Pages, $19.95, Hardcover, November 2004, ISBN 081440832X
If you have been reading my reviews for some time, you have probably noticed that I have a soft spot for business fables. Many critics say these story books are too light and fluffy and don't contribute much to the realm of business books; I would disagree. Firstly, I find them a wonderful way to communicate a message within an organization because they resonate with every level of employee, and they are normally short and can be read quickly not every employee is going to be committed to spending their free evenings with a mandatory reading assignment.
Enter: "Tell Me How I'm Doing" by Richard Williams. The subtitle tells it all - "A Fable about the Importance of Giving Feedback". Readers will follow the story of Scott, a mid-level manager, as he learns the importance of feedback at work (and at home). The story is told through a series of training sessions held by a trainer we only know as "the coach".
For instance in the first session, Scott is asked to get a package for his boss. While he has stepped away, the coach encourages everyone to ignore Scott. When he returns he is ignored by everyone, and they keep up this behavior during the entire meeting, not acknowledging his presence as he tries to get into discussions and not talking to him at all during the break. Only when the class reconvenes is Scott let in on the experiment. Scott responds with how awful he felt, but that he couldn't figure out what was wrong. This is a very simple but effective example of how important feedback is.
This book focuses on how to get good at giving feedback effectively. It's a book that applies to any employee in any company and you'll be amazed how a little feedback can change a relationship and a company.
BTW, IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GETTING THE FREE MONTHLY REVIEWS I DO, JUST EMAIL ME AT JACK AT 800CEOREAD DOT COM AND I'LL PUT YOU ON THE LIST.