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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Art of Giving Feedback

Simple Steps to Give Feedback in Style

1. Do It Often

Virtually no one thinks they get enough feedback and that is because virtually no one gives enough.

2. Do Not Be Shy

Give feedback as close to the event it refers to as possible. This way what happened is fresh in everybody’s mind and it will be easier to learn from it.

3. Give It Some Meaning

Always provide the context before you give feedback. For example “I wanted to talk to you about the report that you wrote yesterday.”

4. Be Specific

Talk about what went well and what could have gone better for the individual or the team.

5. Describe Actual Behaviors Where Possible

Avoid the infamous “feedback sandwich” (good-bad-good) – it comes across as untruthful and dilutes the impact of good feedback.

6. Give a Wider Context

Describe the impact it had and on whom. This gives an idea of how important it is.

7. Be Generous with Positive Feedback

With positive feedback describe what it tells you about the individual. There are not many greater motivators than being told you are a wonderful person.

8. Allow People a Chance to Respond

If they would like time to reflect, let them, and agree to talk about it again at a future date. Do not force people to talk about it though.

9. Remain Objective

Do not let your personal prejudices get the better of you. Remember you are giving feedback for the other person’s benefit and not to vent your own spleen.

10. Build an Action Plan

With critical feedback make sure there is an agreed way to progress. Find the right time and place.