Very few people like conflict, including leaders. Fear of conflict prevents us from giving feedback employees, peers, and bosses. Lack of specific, timely feedback from a trusted person prevents many from realizing their true potential.
The good news is that giving good feedback is not hard. With a commitment to do it and a bit of practice you’ll be on your way.
Here are some of the helpful strategies I’ve learned along the way.
- To give effective feedback you need safety and trust between the giving and receiver. If this is lacking then you need to start there. Some things to consider that help create a safe and trusting environment for feedback:
- Give one-on-one feedback
- Start positive
- Feedback is a gift, not a whip or a carrot
- Create regular opportunities for feedback using weekly or bi-meeting huddles (5-7min meeting). During these short quick check-ins do the following:
- Provide feedback on things that have recently occurred, not something that happened last month
- Give opportunities for receiver to ask questions and share successes
- Inquiry about employee needs and if there is anything I can do to help
- When a significant event occurs schedule a meeting as quickly as possible to discuss the issue. Make sure that you do your homework before you meet. During these meetings:
- Clearly state the intention of the meeting
- Show, don’t tell
- Phrase feedback in a constructive way
- Use a growth mindset
- Share the context
- Get clear about how you intend to help
- When feedback does not seem to impacting behavior then take it up a notch.
- Clearly state the intention of the meeting and that this is not the first concern
- Prepare yourself to get feedback on yourself or processes that you created
- Be clear and give examples
- Emphasize facts not feelings
- Be tough, not mean
- Limit feedback to one or two areas at a time
- Find a solution together
- Finding help is better than offering it yourself
- No matter what make sure that you have a schedule to follow-up after feedback. If needed add a calendar reminder so that you don’t forget. 95% of the time it is a opportunity to praise the improvement.