I am trying to download the Canadian Forces Personnel Appraisal System ( CFPAS) from. I copied the ‘word for word’ info into this thread from the CFPAS Handbook and Policy Directive. You sound like you are somewhat familiar with. 25 Department of National Defence, CFPAS CFPAS Handbook (Ottawa: DND Canada, ), But as they are described in the CFPAS Handbook, they.
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For more information on accessing this file, please visit our help page. Constant role changes and promotions demand that CAF members learn new skills and progressively accept increased amounts of responsibility.
Typically, there is not an immediate expectation of perfection. Instead, CAF members are supposed to be periodically counseled and candidly presented with a clear list of their strengths and areas of development. At the other end lies critical negative feedback—feedback which reveals performance deficiencies and areas for improvement, which many find difficult to provide and accept.
The latter, however, is the foundation of real meaningful growth. Indeed, thoughtful, negative feedback needs to be given so agents can shorten their learning curve and achieve success more quickly. Second, the subordinate must readily accept this critical feedback and earnestly endeavour to change behavior such that noted deficiencies are overcome. While seemingly simple, this exchange does not occur often enough in the CAF due to a widespread aversion to delivering critical negative feedback.
This brief article discusses both the cultural and procedural factors that ultimately undermine the healthy exchange of critical negative feedback between leaders and subordinates within the CAF. From a cultural perspective, many leaders lack the ability to dispassionately reveal the truth to their subordinates.
The fear of hurting feelings trumps their ability to speak with honesty. Instead, necessary criticism is masked in a smokescreen of positivity, thereby obscuring hard-to-hear truths.
Furthermore, many individuals view critical negative feedback as a personal attack and refuse to accept it as a necessary step in self-improvement. In many cases, instead of accepting the criticism, defensiveness and denial ensue, the message is lost, and a newfound contempt toward the supervisor takes hold.
From a procedural perspective, the manner in which the Canadian Forces Personnel Appraisal System CFPAS is employed does not necessarily promote the healthy exchange of critical negative feedback. While the AAR has allowed honest feedback delivery to work at the macro -level, a refreshed approach is needed at the individual level. Master Corporal Sampson, a highly regarded clerk within her unit, was without peer.
Her administrative job knowledge and dedication to her sub-unit were exemplary. When the time arrived to write her quarterly Performance Development Review PDRher direct supervisor, Captain Picard, had no trouble highlighting her many strengths. He did, however, feel it necessary to identify one particular item for development. Master Corporal Sampson had a habit of inflecting her voice at the end of nearly every phrase. Although she likely did this subconsciously, this habit gave off a rather dim-witted first impression.
Instead, the responsibility fell to the sub-unit commander, Major Renault. Within seconds of reading it, Master Corporal Sampson broke down into tears. Believing there was no other solution to solve the crisis of a weeping subordinate seated in his office, Major Renault informed Master Corporal Sampson that the voice inflection was really no big deal and that she should disregard the observation entirely. To assure her that the issue was completely forgotten, he physically tore the development section out of the PDR, effectively redacting the observation as though it never existed.
This, according to Major Renault, was the right thing to do. The voice inflection continued.
Case # 2015-266
This entirely true story names changed yields two key deductions. First, Master Corporal Sampson was extremely uncomfortable or unable to receive honest, constructive and albeit negative feedback. A culture has been created within the CAF where constructive feedback often equates to bullying, where compassion for our members equates to protecting their feelings, and where employee happiness supersedes meaningful professional development. To better understand this cultural problem and how to fix it, this study will divide the cultural discussion into two areas: Offering critical negative feedback involves one-on-one dialogue, which is extremely uncomfortable for many leaders.
A recent survey of private businesses found that more than 70 percent of managers admit they have trouble giving a tough performance review to an underachieving employee. His research suggests that leaders with low EI are unable to control their own emotional response, thereby negating their ability to offer critical negative feedback.
The internal emotional discomfort caused by the potential hurt feelings of the recipient competes with the need to offer the feedback, thereby resulting in cognitive dissonance for the leader. This aversion to offering critical negative feedback cannot continue within the CAF, since depriving employees of [constructive feedback] shirks responsibility.
Rather, it is the tacit encouragement of poor performance. If an individual is not overtly made aware of an ongoing deficiency, then he or she may reasonably assume that the behavior is indeed tolerated, which could lead to the undesired behavior being imitated by others.
Additionally, without honest feedback, we cannot effectively evaluate and develop our subordinates, which is one of the espoused leadership fundamentals of the CAF. How can change be elicited within the CAF leadership? Simply put, our leaders must act more dispassionately when delivering performance reviews and accept the fact that truthful feedback is what is best for the individual, the leader, and the organization writ large.
The data from a survey of CAF members suggests, however, that this is easier said than done, and that perhaps some new tools are required. One tool, as posited by leadership and communications consultant Susan Scott, is to embrace the concept of a Fierce Conversationwhich involves delivering the truth in a clear, concise, and empathetic manner.
Summarizing this point, Scott suggests:. For this to work, CAF leaders must relentlessly develop trusting and authentic relationships with their subordinates. This does not mean coddling soldiers or redacting negative feedback at the sight of tears. It means enforcing a standard of fierce honesty in all conversations, and, for some people, eliminating confusing conversational escape mechanisms such as sarcasm, double-meanings, jokes, retractions, and so on.
Another tool, as suggested by leadership consultants Goffe and Jones, is the idea of exercising tough empathy —that is, the delivery of the hard-to-hear truth in a timely and understanding manner—and ruthlessly applying it when building relationships with subordinates. Based upon several case studies, they assert that tough empathy is one of the single-greatest ways for leaders to show that they care and can be trusted.
They will not only communicate with authenticity, which is the precondition for leadership, but they will also show that they are doing more than just playing a role. If constituents do not trust the messenger, then they certainly will not trust the message, which, in this case, is the critical negative feedback.
# – Personnel Evaluation Report (PER) –
Lying to subordinates for fear of being labelled as an unkind or uncaring leader will not lead to changed behavior and will not foster trust between leaders and subordinates. Leaders must remember that regardless of nandbook difficulty and discomfort during the delivery, the end result will always be worth it.
Fierce conversations and tough empathy may handbooi the CAF leader in overcoming the discomfort associated with delivery of critical negative feedback. Unfortunately, this is only half the battle, as many CAF members possess a strong subconscious aversion to accepting critical negative feedback, regardless of how well it is delivered.
While leaders struggle to offer critical negative cfpxs, many individuals are unable to accept it. Instead of viewing the feedback as an earnest attempt to encourage professional development, many individuals decide to react in an entirely unhelpful manner, adopting a defensive attitude to fend off the seemingly personal attack.
A recent survey of CAF members revealed that nearly half the respondents experience some level of discomfort when receiving critical negative feedback.
Fortunately, there are strategies to enable the healthy acceptance of critical negative cgpas. First, as Jackman and Strober suggest, leaders should divide up the large task of dealing with feedback into manageable, measurable chunks, and set realistic time frames for each one.
Categorizing areas of development and linking each of them to achievable goals and milestones is far more useful than merely presenting a list of observed deficiencies. Make sure you provide the tools that help the agent improve his or her performance. Second, increased formal training on mental resilience could assist CAF members in viewing critical negative feedback as cfpzs necessary means to a better end. The same survey of CAF members revealed cfpax only 28 percent of respondents felt that their training received thus far has fully enabled them to receive constructive negative feedback.
Indeed, it is this feedback which enables people to become aware of potential barriers to success, thereby affording them the knowledge to ascend and surpass these barriers. Additionally, self-aware people, capable of recognizing and regulating their emotions, are better equipped for stifling their own negative emotional impulses as required.
Of jandbook, many people—even those who are cvpas self-aware—do not enthusiastically appreciate their weaknesses exposed or discussed. As can be seen, both the leader and subordinate have roles to play in normalizing the practice of delivering critical negative feedback. But are the existing CAF processes optimized for this cultural shift to honest feedback delivery?
While the organizational culture surrounding critical negative feedback is in need handboko change, there are some notable flaws within the CAF evaluation process that ultimately discourage the delivery of honest feedback. It is worth noting that the written PER is the single-most important document with regards to promotion and overall career advancement.
Unfortunately, six hahdbook issues severely undermine the value of the feedback generated from the CFPAS process. Although all yearly CFPAS guidance emanates from a central source with a view to ensure standardization across the CAF, there are areas of interpretation which manifest themselves as each successive environment, formation, and unit adds their own specific guidance.
For example, some units will automatically hndbook certain people at the top of their merit list, simply due to the position they hold. Fourth, there is a general rightward shift in the manner in which PER scores are decided, which is likely due to commanders strategically ranking people higher so as to set them up for future promotions.
Fifth, PDRs—the essential quarterly review—are often done poorly or not done at all. Consequently, individuals uandbook not receive the formal coaching throughout the year and, therefore, may be completely unaware of their own poor performance.
This failure to communicate only makes the eventual revelation that much more surprising and difficult for the recipient. This ultimately results in leaders conducting handbopk appraisal in a cursory fashion without discussing areas of a good performance, or areas where performance can be improved. At the extreme pinnacle of personnel mismanagement, managers request that their subordinates prepare an appraisal of their own performance for his or her review and use this appraisal to comply with company policy.
Validating these observations, and revealing a general lack of confidence in the CFPAS, the same survey of CAF members revealed that over half the respondents believed that PDRs and PERs are rarely or hanbook used effectively, while only 3 percent believed that they cf;as always used effectively.
It would be difficult to develop an unbiased, objective, and perfectly fair appraisal system for the CAF. Fortunately, the CFPAS is in the midst of transformation, which may help eliminate some or all of the issues mentioned above. Specific command direction and guidance at the unit level can drastically reduce the impact of the six CFPAS issues mentioned earlier.
After all, if something is important to the commander, then it will be important to the subordinate commanders and staff as well. Reinforcing the need for high-quality and concise writing, enforcing the delivery of PDRs at least quarterly, formal teaching of coaching techniques, and disciplining those who fail to invest the requisite time in developing their subordinates are just some ways in which the intended benefits of the CFPAS can be maximized.
CAF leaders cannot simultaneously handbiok mental toughness on the battlefield and show mental weakness with respect to personnel evaluation methods.
Leaders at all levels must become comfortable in handboik critical negative feedback when and where required. Indeed, CAF leaders must achieve balance with other key roles: Additionally, all CAF members must handbool adept at accepting critical handbool as a necessary means to a better end.
The subconscious linkage between criticism and personal attack must be broken. Finally, the limitations of hhandbook CFPAS must be acknowledged, and CAF leaders need to ensure that these same limitations do not steer them away from the delivery of critical negative feedback.
Great leadership is characterized by strong, open and honest relationships between leaders and subordinates. CAF leaders must possess the courage to deliver critical negative feedback when warranted, CAF members must foster the cfpss to receive it, and CAF evaluation systems must ultimately support the healthy exchange of honest feedback.
Failure to deliver critical negative feedback can lead to the wrong people being put into the wrong positions at the wrong time, thereby promoting the cycle of personnel mismanagement. Major Robb has also completed two operational tours in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces www.