3 Keys to Giving Effective Feedback

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There are a two types of feedback; positive and negative.
Both are good when given correctly.
The purpose of all feedback should be to help the receiver to improve; to continue doing what works, and discontinue doing what's not working.
If you're in a leadership position, I suspect that you give feedback daily whether at work or home.
How do you know if your feedback is effective? Keys to giving effective feedback.
Determine what you want to accomplish by giving the feedback.
Do you want the recipients to keep doing what they're doing? Or do you want them to make a change and if so, what specific change? You must know what you want to accomplish with your feedback before you can tailor your message in a way that is meaningful.
State the goal of your feedback in one or two sentences.
Ask the recipient if they're open to receiving feedback.
This will get their full attention and it gives them a sense of power and ownership in the situation.
If they say they're open, then you have a good platform to begin.
If they say they're not open, as may be the case if the feedback isn't positive, then continuing on at that moment may be a futile exercise.
Sometimes people just need to prepare themselves before receiving feedback.
Let them know when you will be giving the feedback so they can be ready to hear it.
Be Specific in the feedback and in what you want the receiver to do with the feedback.
If you can only give vague feedback, it may not be worth giving any feedback at all.
Vague feedback can leave the receiver confused and/or frustrated.
3 areas to be specific on:
  • Tell them exactly what they did or didn't do well and provide supporting examples.
  • Tell them why.
    Why it was good or not good.
    Share your perspective.
    They may have a different perspective but "why" will help them to understand yours.
  • Tell them what you want them to do with the information.
    This goes back to your stated goal of your feedback.
    Don't leave any gray area.
    Don't open up an opportunity for the recipient to come back and say, "Well I thought you meant...
    " Say what you mean.
    Mean what you say.
The myth about negative feedback.
Some people cannot handle the thought of giving negative feedback.
What they don't realize is that it's necessary, when given correctly.
Negative feedback becomes constructive when it's specific and purposeful.
Whether feedback is positive or negative, it helps people to improve.
I was conducting a workshop with a company and a story was shared about a manufacturing plant manager who couldn't give negative feedback.
Unfortunately the end result was him losing his job because he was ineffective in turning around the performance of his plant.
He didn't understand that giving negative feedback in a constructive way, was necessary to help his team get better.
Tell your people what they need to hear in a way that is meaningful, and helpful.
Are you getting the results you want from your team? One consideration is the effectiveness of your feedback.
How effective is your feedback?
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