Feedback is the information that we receive from our employees and colleagues about our work, our behavior and our performance.
In both life and at work, it is important to know how to provide feedback to others in an effective and constructive manner without causing offense.
There are many ways in life of giving feedback to others, from the way our colleague performed a task to talking about the behavior of our children, friends, and life partners.
When someone talks about the feedback interview in a company, an employee survey or a performance appraisal usually comes to mind. We are actually surrounded by feedback all the time. Every time we talk to a person, employee, customer, supplier, etc., we provide feedback. In fact, it is impossible not to give feedback.
Why is feedback important?
– It promotes change and enables us to grow professionally and personally.
– Feedback gives people the opportunity to see themselves in a different light. It helps us to see how others perceive us, what effects has our behavior and how the way we work affects others in the team.
– Feedback makes it easier to achieve our goals, strengthens our self-confidence and helps us to understand others.
– Feedback helps to improve working relationships. It opens the communication channels between employees. This can be especially useful when there is conflict or tension between colleagues. Giving feedback is an opportunity to get things out of the way so that problems can be resolved and ways to work better together can be found.
GIVE FEEDBACK CORRECTLY
Check your motives
Before giving feedback, remember why you are doing it. The purpose of the feedback is to improve the person’s situation or performance. We won’t achieve this by being harsh, critical, or abusive.
You will likely get a lot more from people if your approach is positive and focused on improvement. This doesn’t mean that feedback always has to be good, but it should be fair and balanced.
Give feedback in a timely manner
The closer to the situation you address the topic, the better. Feedback is not about surprising someone. So the sooner you do it, the more the person expects it.
If the situation is very emotional, wait for everyone to calm down before giving feedback. The recipient will be more likely to hear what you are saying and you will avoid saying something in the heat of the moment that you later regret.
Do it regularly
Feedback is a process that requires constant attention. If something needs to be said, say it. People then know where they stand all the time and there will be few surprises.
Tell the person exactly what they need to improve. This ensures that you are sticking to the facts and that there is less room for ambiguity. If you tell someone that they have acted unprofessionally, what does that mean exactly? Was he / she too loud, too casual, too snappy or too badly dressed?
Remember to stick to what you know firsthand: You will quickly find yourself on shaky ground if you start giving feedback based on other people’s views.
Try not to overdo it to get a point. Avoid words like “never,” “all,” and “always,” as the person is likely to become defensive. Always discuss the direct effects of the behavior, don’t be personal, and don’t look for guilt.
Give criticism in private
Public recognition is valued, but public criticism is not.
Use “I” statements
Give feedback from your perspective. That way you avoid labeling the person.
For example, say: “I was angry and hurt when you criticized my report in front of my boss” instead of “You were insensitive yesterday”.
Limit your focus
No more than two topics should be addressed in a feedback conversation. More than that and you risk making the person feel attacked and demoralized. You should also stick to behaviors that she can actually change or influence.
Make specific suggestions
Make sure you both know what needs to be done to improve the situation. The main message should be that you want to care for the person and help them grow and develop.
Feedback is not a one-way street. You need to know how to give it effectively and how to receive it constructively.
RECEIVING FEEDBACK CORRECTLY
Listen to the feedback
That means not to interrupt. Listen to the person and pay attention to what they are saying, not what you assume they will say. Make sure you understand what you are being told, especially before you act on the feedback. If necessary, ask questions to clarify.
It’s great to get positive feedback on how well you’ve done. Getting feedback telling you what to improve can be uncomfortable. Take any feedback you receive as a learning opportunity, even if you don’t agree with it – especially if you don’t agree with it. Often there is more than one way to do something and others may have a completely different point of view on a particular issue. You can learn something valuable.
Thanks to the feedback provider
Giving feedback can be difficult. However whether you agree or not, thanks to the feedback provider, sincerely for their time and effort. If a point feels contentious, repeat it in your own words and make it clear that you heard what he wanted to say.
Continue to encourage open discussion in your team. Your teammates will be grateful to you for that.
Don’t let negative feedback get you down
If you’ve received a lot of critical feedback, you may feel like everyone is against you. However, you would not receive this feedback if the feedback provider does not believe that you can change and improve!
Make a decision
Think about the feedback and plan your next steps, how you will use the feedback to advance your development and / or improve your performance.