What’s your process for providing effective feedback to your employees? As a business owner, executive and/or manager, your leadership sets the tone and the standards within your organization. The way in which you manage and communicate with your employees could stifle creativity and motivation or it could unlock each team members’ greatest potential. That’s why it’s so important to prioritize leadership development training.
In this post, we’ll explore six practical steps for improving one of the most integral elements of a productive work environment: providing effective feedback.
The Effective Feedback Model
If asked, most managers would say that there are two types of feedback – but that would be inaccurate. Before you can develop your process for providing effective feedback, you must first recognize that there are actually three types to consider:
- Positive Feedback
- Corrective and Developmental Feedback
- Shared Perspective Feedback
The first and second are common, but the third – Shared Perspective Feedback – is the most powerful. By finding a shared perspective, the conversation shifts into the coaching leadership style (instead of the managing style), and the employee is more likely to feel engaged, challenged and empowered.
The 6 Steps for Offering Effective Feedback
Offering feedback doesn’t need to be painful for either party. In fact, it’s a powerful tool for achieving new goals, promoting growth and increasing job satisfaction. However, the difference between “painful” and “productive” is a consistent strategy and approach.
Step 1: Check Intentions
First and foremost, it’s important to identify the driving force behind your decision to provide feedback. This is your opportunity to leave emotion at the door and ensure your intentions are coming from a productive place.
Step 2: Ask Permission
As with any conversation, the effectiveness of your feedback relies on your ability to deliver it and the employee’s ability to receive it. No one likes to be blindsided with unsolicited feedback, and asking permission ensures the employee is in a mindset where he or she is able to hear what you’re trying to say.
Step 3: Share Intention
By first sharing the intention behind the feedback, you’re supporting a relationship built on trust and collaboration (a cornerstone of the coaching mindset). An employee is less likely to view feedback as criticism if he or she understands that your goal is to help them achieve their goals or maximize their efforts.
Step 4: Be Specific
There’s nothing more frustrating than general criticism, such as “your work needs to improve” or “I need you to do better.” By using task-focused feedback and specific observations, you empower employees to develop strategies for correcting course.
Step 5: Describe Impact
Feedback is much more effective when it’s put into context with the big picture. Not only does this help to overcome potential feelings of being “singled-out,” but it can also help the employee recognize that his/her role contributes to the overall success of the company.
Step 6: Assess Response
Once the feedback has been delivered and discussed, it’s important to assess the employee’s response, so you can tailor your approach for helping him/her to implement change.
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At FocalPoint Canada, we guide our clients in overcoming challenges and leveraging opportunities with proven processes and methodologies that have been used by thousands of successful businesses over the past two decades. Our FocalPoint business coaches use their expertise to teach our time-tested methods through individual coaching, group sessions, or trainings and workshops.