When you give your colleagues and employees feedback, you give them an observer’s insight into how their performance is progressing.
But as valuable as feedback is, it often fills both the immediate supervisor and the employee receiving it with fear and anxiety. Many managers dread giving their team feedback because they hate being the one to deliver bad news or dampen the otherwise fun and energetic mood of the office.
Business coaches see it all too often; leaders who dislike giving feedback to avoid seeming superior and the receiver of the feedback switching into defensive mode.
Giving and receiving is a delicate process, but it is an entirely necessary one. Without it, behaviors cannot be molded, and learning will not be fostered, leading to a lack of growth in performance and personal and professional development.
What can managers do to improve their process of giving feedback?
Make Giving Feedback a Continual Process
When feedback is regularly given and not in a formal setting that only occurs once or twice a year, both parties become accustomed to giving and receiving.
When you give feedback when the need for it arises, it starts to become a habit. Positive feedback needs to be said and heard immediately, otherwise, you lose the momentum, and the employee who is performing well will think that their efforts have gone unnoticed and unappreciated.
And if you avoid giving negative feedback for too long, the employee may question the timing and feel defensive. You also risk the bad behavior snowballing especially if the employee starts to think that their actions are acceptable because it wasn’t addressed right away.
Start With Business Outcomes
Don’t get personal. If a person on your team has dropped the ball, don’t react but rather start by asking their perspective on the situation. No matter how disappointed you are or feel that it is a flaw in their character, always start with how it affects the business and have them recognize their actions.
Be Positive but Specific
Corrective feedback is often necessary, but it doesn’t mean that it has to be delivered in a mean-spirited way that is aimed to embarrass the individual in front of the whole team. Make sure that negative feedback always ends with a suggested solution or a recommended next course of action that guides the employee and team to move forward.
Furthermore, feedback should always be specific. Vague and ambiguous feedback can easily be misinterpreted and worsen the situation. It also lessens how defensive the employee feels when they know that the detailed feedback directed to them was based on facts.
You can’t just give feedback and walk away leaving the employee to sort it out entirely on their own. Doing this only increases the chances of a repeat offense or the valuable feedback being forgotten.
Because giving feedback is a process, you need to follow-through after a while and see if your ongoing support is needed or if there have been any positive changes.
Get Feedback on Your Feedback
Another crucial step in the process of giving feedback is asking for feedback in return. Managers can learn and be coached by their team every bit as much as you aid in their development At the end of your feedback session, ask your employee how they felt about the conversation. Encourage them to be honest with their opinions on how the feedback was given to them and how they felt about your approach and delivery.
Speaking of feedback, I would love to hear yours. Did you find value in this blog?
If you have time, let’s jump on a call to brainstorm some strategic leadership concepts you may be unfamiliar with…I think you might be pleasantly surprised! Then, without obligation, we can consider if working together would be beneficial.
If that sounds good, you can use this link to schedule a time convenient to you for us to chat: http://meetme.so/GregNichvalodoff I look forward to furthering our connection and learning more about you and your business.