Feedback: Are You Giving It Right?
Who would dispute that feedback is a good thing? Both positive and negative feedback is very helpful and used to make important decisions. In fact, top performing companies are top performing companies because they are constantly searching for new ways to receive feedback and make their performance even better.
We all need feedback to learn and grow. But what is the right way to give feedback to a person – whether to your peer or employee – so that it will help them make better informed decisions and improve their performance?
The Right Question
The right first question when giving feedback is “What were you trying to accomplish?” You can’t give effective feedback before knowing goals and intentions as these elements are essential for understanding this person’s performance. As soon as you know the goal, clarify what they were doing to accomplish it.
Follow the golden rule “Listen before speaking” as this is a great way to give people opportunity to discuss their performance before giving them profound insights.
#1. Make sure you pursue the best interest of the person you’re giving feedback to.
#2. After clarifying what this person was doing to achieve the goal, give your feedback focusing on behaviours – describe what you think helped or impeded their performance.
#3. Don’t forget to give examples to illustrate your feedback. Be as precise as you can. For example, say “When you did this, it helped you…/it impeded your work in the following way…”
#4. Remember that feedback is helpful only when it highlights weaknesses as well as strengths. So never focus only on criticism – instead, turn to the future and try to figure out together what this person can do differently next time to succeed.