Ah yes… feedback! What feeling does this word give you? Of silence, of curiosity, of fear? Feedback is an incredibly powerful tool, and if given properly, it has the ability to grow and develop the people of the organization, and automatically the organization itself, to improve the level of trust and communication within a team and to strengthen the links between employees and managers. But too often, feedback is ignored or omitted altogether to avoid the discomfort of both the giver and the receiver.
Of course, there is no perfect recipe for giving feedback, the methods recommended by specialists are varied, but we have prepared some tips to help you when giving feedback. Remember that it must be frequent, effective and help you get the result you need.
Here we go:
- Avoid giving unsolicited advice
Only a third of people find the feedback they receive usefully. This is because it is often unsolicited, which can be very stressful for the person receiving it.
But, taking care of how, when and why you give feedback, you can increase the probability that your employee/colleague will act according to the feedback he receives. Encourage people to ask for feedback, helping them to feel confident and comfortable enough when doing so.
- Be specific
Feedback should be solution-oriented, obviously. If your intention is to provide constructive feedback, general comments such as “Your work needs to be improved” or “I was not very impressed with these reports. You have to do better than that. ” creates a state of confusion as to what aspect of their work needs to be corrected.
Be specific about what you want your employee/colleague to do and give them guidance on how to apply feedback. For example, “I noticed that you were late with the last two deadlines. I would like to work with you on time management to make sure you don’t have too many tasks and you can complete each task in time. ”
- Don’t wait for a quarterly review
Employee feedback following an event has the greatest impact on performance. If problems are left unresolved, they can multiply as a domino effect. So, when the quarterly performance review takes place, you may face a number of issues that could have been avoided if constant feedback had been provided.
Another negative effect of economic feedback is that problems will be forgotten once the right time has passed. Daily or weekly feedback will help you improve performance.
- Keep it private
Don’t criticize the public – never.
And for some, even praise is better received in a private meeting. We have to accept that some people just don’t like to be the center of attention. You can also consider providing feedback in the form of an email. This can give you time to think better and give clear and concise feedback.
Feedback is not only inconvenient for the receiver, but it can also be for the one who offers it. Think of alternative locations, such as the park in front of the offices, or you may have a room to relax. The location will be an important factor to be both comfortable.
- Don’t approach the sandwich method
Helping someone to improve their work should always be the goal of feedback, but the sandwich method for providing feedback will not have the desired effect. This method confuses the receiver, undermines your feedback, and can lower your confidence.
Although it may feel more inconvenient for the donor, the fact that it is transparent and clear, direct feedback lays the groundwork for an authentic conversation. Focus on giving tactful feedback, instead of avoiding approaching the topic.
Teasing someone about what they should improve on their work is just as effective as talking to a wall. Don’t forget one of the important things when it comes to feedback: respect – especially when you touch on vulnerable topics.
Let the receiver answer the feedback and allow it to ask clarification questions. Once the problem is clear, you two can work together to find a solution.
- Focus on performance, not personality
Focus on the employee’s / colleague’s behaviors (what he does) and not on their personality traits (what they like). Consider these two examples and think about what kind of feedback you want to receive.
Example 1: “Your arrogance causes problems.”
Example 2: “When you interrupt me in front of a client, it’s not okay.”
A better approach to feedback is Example 2 because it focuses on the person’s behavior, while in Example 1, the focus is on the person’s character, which will not lead to improvements.
Evaluation is difficult and it takes a lot of energy to do it right. Instead of treating feedback sessions as a task that needs to be checked, be careful if the person you gave feedback to took them into account and appreciated them for the improvements. This will show her that you care and will motivate her to keep up.
Feedback is a necessary part of growth and development. These tips can help managers and leaders deliver it more efficiently, which will lead to more cohesive, communicative and superior teams.