When interacting with your staff, do you feel like you are goofing off or not sure what to say? And, you think to yourself, “Am I managing or meandering?”

It can be valuable for you to manage by meandering. Managing by meandering can provide you with the opportunity to give positive as well as constructive feedback in a casual, non-threatening way.

There is a substantial body of research showing that feedback leads to increase employee performance. Feedback tells people how they are doing. And, if the feedback is favorable, it acts as a positive reinforcer. If feedback indicates inadequate performance, it may result in increase effort.

When it comes to managing by meandering, Kit has always found it a great tool for providing feedback on the spot when it will have the greatest impact. Keep in mind, if you are concerned about changing peoples behavior, the delays of providing feedback on the substandard behaviors lessens the likelihood that the feedback will be effective in bringing about the desired change.

Feed back is most meaningful to the recipient when there is a very short interval between the behavior and the feedback. And that is what managing by meandering is all about. Besides, providing feedback also conveys that you care about what they are doing.

So, consider managing by meandering. Have the recipient rephrase the content of your feedback to see whether it fully captures the meaning you intended. You’ll build a more positive relationship with each of your staff members and you’ll take the surprise out of those painful annual performance appraisals.

For more on Managerial Communication, watch Kit’s presentation here. And don’t forget to check back next Monday for another video blog.