Want to build mutual respect and trust with your team? Give “Feedback”​ the right way

What is Feedback?

Feedback is a communication tool that you can use as a manager to expand your perceptive and help others expand theirs. Knowing how to give feedback to the individuals you line manage is key to forming and maintaining strong working relationships.

Simply put feedback is information given to an individual or a group about aspects of their behavior and how this behavior affects others.

If you are planning to give feedback today check out these steps to help you deliver your message:

  1. Ask for permission – Before delivering you feedback check if now is a convenient time. If not agree on a suitable moment. As much as you may want to get an issue of your chest, you need to make sure your recipient is ready to receive your feedback. Example: Do you have a moment for us to talk about the team meeting this morning?
  2. Describe what happened – Remain focused on the facts. Be descriptive and objective. Don’t let your emotions or your interpretation of the event and/or behavior get the better of you. Example: I noticed that you arrived 20 minutes late for the meeting.
  3. Explain the effects – Let the recipient know the impact of their behavior or action. Feedback helps to broaden perspectives and enhance self-awareness. This is only possible if we understand the effect of our behaviours and/or actions on others. Example: As a result, I had to go over some of the items we had already covered again so the meeting ran over time and I was late for my next meeting.
  4. Invite reflection – Give the recipient time to reflect, think about and internalize what you have said. Don’t expect instant recognition, admission of guilt or a lengthy apology. As human beings our minds are often busy with multiple thoughts, it can take us time to process new information. Example: Were you aware of this?
  5. Agree on follow-up action – Decide on a way forward or explore different options and solutions. Feedback is aimed at the future and geared towards enabling personal growth of an individual. Often times you may find the recipient is ready to propose a way forward him/herself. Example: What can we do differently for the team meeting next week?

As a manager it is your role to provide individuals in your team with timely information about their behavior and performance. Effective feedback helps individuals know exactly what they need to improve. It provides your staff with the clarity, direction and confidence they need to course correct and excel in their roles.

Remember, effective feedback is:

  • Given with a positive intention
  • Based on facts and behaviors
  • Constructive and beneficial

Access the feedback tip sheet here

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