How to Give Feedback

Giving effective feedback is an important learning step in the process of mastering any type of job or work. Yet, it is important to find a good way to do that, without putting people on defense or wasting time on giving unproductive feedback that would lead to no better result.

Understanding the reasons on why you are giving particular feedback and finding the best method to do that might be sometimes a challenge. If you are provide feedback to your employees or colleagues, then you need to find the right way to do that, which does not necessarily need to be the same as if you were a customer in a store providing your feedback on their service.

Provide timely feedback

There is nothing worse than waiting for a whole set of observations to pile up so you could state your objections to your employees or colleagues once in a couple of months. By that time, they might have forgotten many of those situations and such feedback may not be as productive as the one you state immediately after something happens. Hence, providing immediate feedback is a very important step in this process.

Provide regular feedback

Get your employees or colleagues used to hearing feedback on their work results. By doing so, you take that unpleasant feeling from the table and create an environment in which a discussion about results and objections is normal in your company. Such feedback does not necessarily need to be negative; on the contrary, it is advisable to provide both positive and negative feedback whenever there is a reason for it.

Create safety and keep a positive tone

Even if you didn’t like what your employee or co-worker did, try to take a positive approach. You do not necessarily want to broadcast such an opinion in front of everyone, so creating a safe environment for that employee to receive some criticism is very important. On the other hand, even when you do have a negative set of feedback to provide, try to take a positive approach as much as possible. Instead of saying “You are bad at handling such technical calls”, try saying “Let’s try to work on your handling of those technical calls”. Although you are practically saying the same thing with the previous two statements, the latter might produce much better results with the person receiving the feedback.

Be precise and specific

Do not just act out on your team member without letting them know what exactly you find problematic in their way of handling work. The outcome of such feedback might be reduced confidence of that person and no willingness to improve. If there is more than one thing you wish to point out, then just write down a reminder and try to be as specific as possible when providing your feedback. Whenever possible, try to provide a solution as well. Instead of just criticizing, suggest an alternative way that can lead to a better result. Perhaps your employee wants to be better, but just doesn’t know how?

Do not give feedback that sounds mean

Even if your employee did some clumsy move that you perhaps even find stupid, do not say that directly. If you provide feedback that just sounds mean, you might ruin their self-esteem and confidence at the same time not getting any better results. As already mentioned, try to provide them with some constructive criticism. If you got upset over some issue, and you are not sure you can keep yourself positive, then try to calm yourself down and focus on how to get the best possible outcome from such a situation.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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