Giving Feedback Effectively

Giving Feedback Effectively

Managers with highly engaged employees know how give timely and appropriate feedback and are seen as considerate, trustworthy, collaborative, and great developers of people. Feedback is the most frequently used tool of effective managers. Effective feedback helps someone realize the impact of their behavior and thus allows them to be conscious of the effect of their behavior on others, change ineffective actions, or, in the case of positive feedback, continue doing things that help the team achieve its goals.

Giving beneficial feedback to your employees is necessary to keeping them engaged, focused, and motivated. Giving feedback, particularly constructive feedback, is often a worrying task. Feedback discussions do not need to be unpleasant. Giving effective feedback is all about how you deliver it. Focus on behaviors and actions because you want your employee to be as effective as he/she can be at work. Here are ten simple tips.

  1. Give feedback in a climate of trust and caring, and make it constructive, leading to a mutually satisfying goal.
  2. Give feedback only if the recipient will accept it.
  3. Express feedback in terms of (a) what you perceive, (b) what you feel, and (c) what you need.
  4. When restating another person’s remarks or instructions, paraphrase rather than repeat them verbatim (parroting), and check for accuracy.
  5. When talking about what the other person does, describe behaviors over which he or she has some control rather than personality traits.
  6. Focus on directly experienced and relatively recent behavior rather than on inferences or hearsay.
  7. Be specific, limit the session to only one issue, and explain how the behavior affects you. Ask, “How do you see the situation?” “How might you do things differently next time?” “What do you think worked, and what could have gone better?
  8. Mix negative and positive feedback appropriately to demonstrate that your issue is the only point of the discussion.
  9. Allow the recipient the right to choose whether or not to change and what changes should be made; work together.
  10. Be prepared to accept feedback as well as give it.

Delivering feedback is among a manager’s most important tasks, yet many managers struggle to do it fairly and consistently, and in a way that drives improved performance from the employees. If you follow the guidelines, you should get the result you’re looking for when handling most of the difficult people with whom you work. Though it’s hard to believe at times, they usually care about you and your feelings–mainly, of course, because they need other people to help them meet their own needs. That’s why you use some type of benefit statement to enlist their cooperation—the trade-off.

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