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Fantastic feedback tool
July 05, 2016

Counter your natural lack of objectivity

I recently discovered a fantastic feedback tool.

I found it inside the book “Primed to Perform” by Neel Doshi & Lindsay McGregor (HarperCollins, New York, NY: 2015).

The authors introduce this tool by arguing first that most people in organizations – that’s all of us: you and me – suffer from what they call the “blame bias” – also known as the fundamental attribution error.

The blame bias is basically our impulse to blame the performer – rather than the context – when the performer doesn’t deliver as expected.

In other words – we “have a natural bias to place blame on people for outcomes that may be better explained by the context.”

When someone doesn’t perform as expected – we tend to assume that the reason for the lack of performance lies within the performer – rather than within the context where the performer performed.

When I read these pages on this book, I said, “Yeah – that is so true!”

To help you correct your “natural bias” – the authors suggest to give feedback to your performer following the REAP model.

REAP stands for:

  • Remember
  • Explain
  • Ask
  • Plan

    As in …

    Remember to stop blaming and assume that your performer had good intentions all along.

    Explain to yourself – inside your head – possible scenarios related to the context that might explain the lack of performance (assuming a problem with the context – not with your performer).

    Ask your performer what happened – and ask your question with the tone that you are genuinely assuming your performer had good intent.

    Plan together with your performer what to do – in order to fix the performance problem.


    Simple – isn’t it? Not easy – but simple.

    As with everything – it is a question of practice. The more you do it – the better you’ll get at it.


    If you naturally lose clarity of sight and objectivity due to your unconscious blame bias – also known as the fundamental attribution error – you might as well start practicing right away giving feedback using this REAP model.

    You will indeed get a broader picture about your employees’ circumstances, you will be much more objective – and as a consequence – you will obtain better performance from them.

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    See you next month!
    Joseluis Romero - Publisher
    July 5, 2016. Copyright: All rights reserved
    I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month
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