How to Provide Effective Feedback
Providing effective feedback is one of the most critical skills any manager, team leader or supervisor needs to master to create a culture of continuous improvement with their teams.
And, if the feedback is not done properly, it can destroy the motivation of the employees and mutual relationships.
I suggest using a simple 5-step process to transform an unpleasant and de-energizing conversation into a motivating, collaborative, and supportive one.
Here you have a wonderful opportunity to coach your team members on how they can provide effective feedback. Improved results will follow shortly.
To your growth and success.
Out of all the transitions that we go through in life, there is one special transition in our professional life that I would like to talk about today, and that transition is when we become team leader, manager, or supervisor. In other words, when our results are not only
directly related to our actions but to the actions of the people we manage.
And, in this transition, obviously we need to learn different skills, but there is one very critical skill that many people struggle, at least at the beginning, and some others not only at the beginning. And that skill is to deliver effective feedback, because feedback is the only way to sustainable individual and team improvement.
So it's critical how we deliver feedback to the people we manage, and how this impact our results.
For many people that they don't know how to deliver effective feedback, delivering negative feedback is a very uncomfortable situation, so since it's uncomfortable situation for them,
what do they do? They delay, they postpone, they avoid, they sugarcoat their comments not saying exactly what they want to transmit to the other person...
So, after some time in that condition, in that situation, the internal frustration grows until the manager explodes, and maybe they say things that are not helping, and he will regret afterwards, compromising their relationship with their employees.
In that situation, and to help those newly appointed managers or leaders, I will like to suggest today a five-step process to deliver effective feedback. A process that removes all these negative emotions, and make it a more pleasant conversation, for both manager and
So here is the five-step process:
Step #1. You describe specifically and objectively the event you want to deliver feedback about.
Don't generalize with expressions like "Over the last three months you usually do this or that", or "I saw you many times being this or that". This is a direct accusation, or judgment, of the other person.
So just describe effectively and objectively the event you want to talk about.
Step #2. Describe the impact that the actions, behaviors or attitudes of the other person have created into that event that we are talking about.
Which impact these actions had for clients, for other departments, for suppliers,,,? Which impact? The employee needs to know which the impact of their actions is that you would like to talk about.
Step #3. Express how you would have liked this to be done, and
set your expectations for how this has to be done in the future when this event re-occurs.
Step #4. Ask the employee for new ideas, suggestions, opinions, alternatives that he thinks could help also for that event that we are talking about, to minimize that impact and to create a different result.
Step #5. Offer your help, whatever is the course of action that you have agreed with your employee,
Just offer your help. How can I help you, as a manager, to change that behavior, attitude,
action to get much better results, in the event that we are talking about?
So here we have a five-step process, breaking down that unpleasant conversation into a much more cooperative, collaborative, and supportive conversation.
Let me give you an example.
Let's imagine that yesterday we had a very important meeting with our key customer and our employee was in charge of managing the meeting and the agenda, so he decided, at some point in time, not to follow the agreed agenda, what created in the meeting a lot
of confusion, discussions, and unnecessary arguments, and, at the end of the meeting,
the manager of the other company called me, as a manager of my team, complaining about how we had managed the agenda.
So we want to give feedback to our employee, How would we follow the conversation that will cover these five steps that I mentioned before?
So, let's start by defining the event. The conversation can flow something like that:
"Hello John, How are you? I would like to talk to you about the meeting we had yesterday with our main client. In that meeting, because you decided to change the way we agreed on how to deal with the agenda of the meeting, there was a lot of unnecessary discussions, and arguments and, at the end of the meeting, the manager of that company called me to
complain about how we had managed that agenda. So I would have expected you to
follow our agreement before the meeting on how the agenda should flow, and for
next events, or next meetings with the customers, I would like you to follow what we agreed before, and if you, for whatever reason, major reason, you cannot follow it, I want you to talk to me before, so we will agree on which would be the next course of action. Based on that, what would be your comments, new ideas, or new alternatives you would have liked to have in place to improve the situation and minimize that impact that we created yesterday?"
And, then when our employee and us discuss about those options,
we can offer our help.
"How can I help you to implement exactly that option, so we excel in our next meeting with our customer?"
So, as you can see, the uncomfortable situation, the uncomfortable discussion with our employee is breaking down into five steps that promotes collaboration, it's supportive, and
removes all these negative emotions that usually happen when we deliver feedback
to some of our employees.
So, if you have one employee who is struggling on the way of how to deliver effective feedback, please feel free so share with them this video. And I would like to hear, to read from you, your comments or your new suggestions on this topic.
Thank you very much for listening. This is Eduard Lopez.
See you next time.