The power of giving good feedback.
Feedback, when effectively delivered, is one of the most powerful tools to develop the growth of an employee.
Unfortunately, many managers are hesitant to give it because although most employees are open (and want) to receive feedback, more often than not this ends up affecting the relationship between them. Why?
One thing to consider is that when people want feedback, mostly they want to hear positive feedback, this is a psychological bias.
Whenever there’s a difference in opinion, the usual initial reaction is to become defensive and question the validity and/or intentions of the other person, but delivering feedback doesn’t have to be uncomfortable, difficult or scary.
Follow these tips for a better feedback process:
Be honest and respectful
Honesty really is the best policy here. Make sure to evaluate your own intentions beforehand and make them clear during the feedback session.
Ask for the employee’s permission before giving out feedback. Although you don’t have to, this shows your respect and makes the employee more open to listening.
Keep it simple
Whenever my previous manager needed to tell me about something I had to improve, he would beat around the bush.
I believe that successful feedback gets to the point without being disrespectful, this is not the time to be ambiguous. Be clear about what was done wrong, suggest alternatives to improve it and allow time for it to sink in.
Make it a regular thing
My previous manager would never sync with me, so on the rare occasion that he requested to have a 1:1 with me, I always thought I had done something wrong.
I think once a week (or bi-weekly) is good for going over the major events of that period. This also allows the feedback to be more timely, which in turn amplifies its effectiveness.
State the good, but don’t overdo it
It’s good practice to start with a positive remark before pointing out a bad behavior, but don’t overdo it.
At best, it will cancel out the perception that something needs improving and at worst it will come across as insincere.
Open the door
By this I mean, although you’re a manager… ask for feedback yourself. You’d be surprised by what you may hear from your employees, and the truth is, everyone is prone to learning, no matter what position they’re in.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. – Winston Churchill