5 tips for giving good feedback
Given the importance of good feedback and the sensitivity of the process, it is important to prepare yourself to ensure that your feedback is constructive. Here are five tips to ensure that your feedback helps you achieve the intended results.
1. Be professional in your approach
Your feedback can be clear, respectful and follow all the requirements required for good feedback. But your relationship with the recipient is crucial for the feedback to have the right effect.
If you have a friend-level relationship with the recipient, you can expect the feedback to yield the intended results. If not, it's best to create a comfort zone where the recipient will feel safe, not intimidated.
Maintain a cordial tone throughout your feedback. Refrain from using words that may make the recipient feel humiliated or stupid.
2. Make feedback specific
"You need to be more open with your ideas" is generic. When you put it like "Your project idea was intuitive and effective, and the customer was happy. I would like to hear more ideas from you. You can send an email with your input every week."
A general statement can put the recipient in defense and deny the effect of your message.
A specific statement gives appreciation for a job well done and subtly conveys your expectations of the recipient.
3. Deliver negative aspects in a positive spirit
Roughly speaking, even good feedback strike back. The recipient must not take it in the intended spirit. Giving negative feedback is crucial for progress. But it is not necessary to make the person feel bad while doing so.
You can be determined in your negative feedback without being mean in this way:
- Share the reason why you make the negative statement. Once the recipient understands the reason, he / she may be more open to your feedback. Start with phrases like "I have to share it …." and mine the intention here is to … "
- Use words thoughtfully. Limit sentences beginning with "you". Focus more on saying "I feel …"
"I think working towards better time management would make your deliveries more valuable." gives a better effect than "You never deliver on time."
- Avoid attacking the character of the recipient. For example, "You are rude" will put the receiver immediately on the defensive. They are more likely to defend their actions than to take your advice.
Instead, focus on the recipient's specific behavior.
“I understand your frustration. I think you would have received a faster response from the customer with positive words. ” This statement tells the specific behavior and the problem with it while being empathetic.
4. Avoid a condescending or preaching tone
Do you think that good feedback is more about you speaking and the other person listening? Not really.
You can be a more influential leader with a different mindset. Aim to see feedback as a communication between the recipient and yourself. Be prepared to listen carefully to what the other person has to say.
Your goal is to use feedback as a motivation for your team members to move towards a problem-solving situation. This goal can not be achieved if you adopt a condescending or "lectureistic" tone.
When there is communication, the roles are balanced. The receiver does not degrade to the defensive position.
5. Make feedback relevant
Your feedback is only relevant when it is relevant. Feedback is not good or productive when it is delivered months after a job has been well done or underperformed.
By being relevant, you increase the effect of the feedback. When you leave feedback after months, your team can remember the specific details. Such directionless feedback loses its purpose and becomes unproductive.
Good feedback has the power to transform individuals with potential into effective leaders. When delivered with significant respect and care, good feedback can change an employee's life for the better.
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