When people think about business leadership, knowing how to give good feedback often does not come immediately to mind. However, psychological experts have discovered that giving feedback in the right way can help avoid people becoming defensive and unresponsive. Knowing how to give good feedback can be a key skill when it comes to helping employees improve their performance!
Some people think that giving good feedback is all about personal charisma. However, there are a number of specific techniques you can apply to improve how you give feedback.
Read on to learn all about the most important things to understand about how to give good feedback as a manager!
Focus On Quality Over Quantity
Giving feedback can be unpleasant for everybody involved. As a result, it is best to limit it as much as possible. At the same time, sometimes it is necessary to give good feedback.
When you really need to give good feedback, you want to maximize the chance that the employee will receive it effectively. To achieve that, it is best to limit other instances of feedback. Just because something is not quite right does not mean that you should take the time to specifically give feedback about it.
Prioritize giving good feedback when it is most important. When the most important issues are resolved, you may then be able to risk giving feedback about issues that are only of moderate or mild importance.
Be as Specific as Possible
When you give feedback, it is important to be as specific as possible. In fact, it is so important to be specific that it might be worth limiting the scope of your feedback just for the sake of extra specificity.
For example, suppose that an employee is not responding quickly to messages. They may be slow to respond to emails, memos, texts, and other forms of communication.
However, it can be very difficult for an employee to change their habits. It is more likely that they will be able to successfully improve if they have one single thing to focus on. As a result, it might be wise to give them only one thing to improve on at first.
Even if you mention that they have a slow response time to all kinds of communication, your actual request of them might be limited and specific. You want to be very clear that you are asking them to respond to emails, for example, within 24 hours on weekdays and within six hours of coming to the office on Monday.
The exact request will differ from situation to situation, of course. But the general principle of being as specific as possible can apply to almost every situation.
Focus On Mutual Understanding
People often have good reasons for doing the things that they are doing. And if they don’t seem like good reasons to you, they probably seem like good reasons to them.
If you give feedback, it is probable that people will be silently reciting their good reasons for their bad habits in their minds while only half-listening. That does not facilitate improvement.
As a result, you want people to be able to express those things. If we use our example from before, you might ask why an employee tends to respond slowly to communications.
After they tell you why you want to repeat back to them what they said in your own words. If they say that you have understood them correctly, then you can ask them if there are any other reasons that responding in a timely manner is difficult.
If they do not say that you have understood him correctly, you want to ask them to explain again so that you can try to repeat it back in your own words again.
This shows people that you are truly listening to them. Once they know that you understand them, they will feel that you are in an acceptable position to ask them to change their habits.
Be Timely With Your Feedback
Sometimes, there are regularly scheduled meetings for feedback. However, it’s often best not to wait for them.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some people make the mistake of calling in an employee for feedback during an especially difficult time. If an employee is especially busy, you might want to wait for a more relaxed moment to provide feedback.
Avoid Public Feedback
Feedback should be all about improving employee behaviors. It should not be about punishment. As a result, you should minimize reputational damage to the employee.
At the very least, do not give criticism publicly. On top of that, it might be best to arrange for a way to give feedback that does not reveal to other employees that the reason you are talking to someone is to provide them with criticism.
Avoid Common Mistakes
Some managers try to use a combination of positive and negative feedback at the same time to soften the blow. However, this can be tricky to do correctly.
If you cannot do this effectively, it is best not to do it at all. The same goes for many other techniques. If you do not think that you can use them smoothly and effectively, it is best just to stick with the basics.
The more that you understand how a good team leader makes it a priority to build trust and improve management systems, the more you might appreciate other techniques for personal development of business leadership skills. Receiving feedback effectively often comes down to hearing a business leader express it in the right way. Check out this article to learn more about how to take employee productivity to the next level!
Understand the Principles of Giving Good Feedback
We hope learning about how to give good feedback has been helpful for you. Many managers and business leaders are juggling many different projects at the same time. Finding ways to learn more on the expertise of employees can be a game-changer.
Giving good feedback can foster trust between business leaders and employees. That makes it an investment in smooth operations and greater productivity. To learn more about the latest developments in business, check out our other articles!