Performance Feedback Is a Gift

There are few things that managers detest more than annual performance reviews. Not only does the process feel like a time-consuming chore, but it also may lead to conflict when the manager needs to give corrective feedback. Nobody likes to be on the receiving end of criticism, either. The first time I received honest feedback from a 360 review of my leadership skills, I literally sobbed in my office — even though it was delivered by a supportive and caring coach.

But I have come to regard the act of sharing honest, constructive feedback with my team and with the clients I coach as a gift, grounded in a sincere desire to help them improve and succeed. And in an era when employee morale is low and retention is paramount, productive feedback, done right, may be a manager’s secret weapon: a tool for rebuilding commitment and connection. I’d like to share some best practices that my PRG colleagues and I have developed through our consulting practice for delivering clear feedback that is both helpful and well received.
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The Power of Partnering with Students

The following is a guest post by E. Royster Harper, a senior advisor with Peterson Rudgers Group. She served for four decades in student life roles at the University of Michigan, including as vice president for student life.

E. Royster HarperUniversities are well aware that after two years of pandemic disruption, students are feeling stressed, disconnected, and concerned about their safety, their futures and the value of their education. We’ve seen their fear and anger over sexual assaults and racial incidents spark campus protests across the nation, demanding change.

When Generation Z students are dissatisfied, they take their complaints straight to the top. They expect to be consulted and heard — yet too often, university leaders don’t take the time to engage students in honest dialogue and involve them when addressing issues that shape their college experience. Continue reading

Mary Sue Coleman Returns to PRG


8/17/21 Portraits of Mary Sue Coleman in the Michigan Photography studio and the LSA Opportunity Hub.

Julie, Steve and I are delighted to share the news that University of Michigan President Emerita Mary Sue Coleman has returned to Peterson Rudgers Group as Senior Advisor. Mary Sue has concluded her historic service at Michigan, coming back to the university to serve as interim president for nine months during a time of great need.

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“The Vision Thing” (or, How to Be a Purpose Whisperer)

Recently it was my privilege to speak at consulting firm Washburn & McGoldrick’s annual client conference. Karin George, Bonnie Devlin, Carla Willis and the whole W&McG team provide expert fundraising counsel to colleges and universities across the country. They asked me to explore the topic of leadership vision, specifically how to turn leadership planning and direction into the kind of compelling narrative that inspires engagement and investment.

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