Giving successful feedback is a tricky process that requires skill, practice and elegant execution. When done correctly, feedback can have an enormous effect on productivity and employee engagement in the workplace.
Becoming defensive when receiving feedback is a natural reaction. The more people feel judged, the more guarded they become. When your feedback is vague, your employees become cautious, hesitant and wary.
However, when you give your staff the facts, they will hear you and take action on your feedback, knowing it is without judgement.
That is why it is so vital that managers develop a complete understanding of what comprises effective feedback based on facts.
In order for your feedback to have the most impact on your employees it must be…
- Specific: Your feedback must be concrete and relate to a specific goal. You will need to provide clear expectations and their performance.
- Timely: Employees must receive their feedback as close to the incident as possible.
- Appropriate: Be constructive and considerate with your feedback. You need to remain calm and professional and make sure it is in a private appropriate location.
- Behavior: Make sure that your feedback is not centered around the characteristics of the employee but rather solely on the behavior.
- Proactive: Try not to postpone important feedback, you don’t want any issues to become so large they affect your business.
- Language: You want to use language that is descriptive and informative on how the person’s behavior impacts the company. Also, avoid critical language, you don’t want your employee to become defensive.
- Information: Never work off gossip, have supporting data on hand to show your employee specific examples of observed behavior.
- Directing: After you give specific feedback to help confirm and correct a particular performance, your employee should know how to improve their performance and how to get there.
Learning to give constant, factual feedback to others, is not easy to do. It requires you to put your emotions aside, remove out judgments and opinions, and tell the other person the facts of what happened.
The more you focus on the facts and less on how you feel about what happened, the better your conversation will go.
It is important to keep in mind that employees can only correct their performance successfully if the information communicated back to them is calm, accurate, and truthful.
When you manage feedback in the right way it removes the negativity associated with it, giving everyone involved the opportunity to develop and progress.
How do you handle feedback with your employees?
Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC and author of "The 3x5 Coach: A Practical Guide to Coaching Your Team for Greater Results and Happier People", which is now available in Paperback or a Kindle version at https://tinyurl.com/y8ecykfy
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