giving feedback in leadership and management

Do you find it tough giving feedback?

Many business leaders shy away from giving feedback, but it’s an essential part of management and leadership.  I guess they think that it could be a tricky conversation, or that the person won’t want to hear the feedback.  But it’s a myth that feedback is a negative conversation.  Giving feedback on something which has gone really well is a great way to re-enforce what’s worked, so that it can be repeated.

Giving and receiving feedback is a very powerful tool in the workplace.  And employees can come away from the conversation feeling more empowered and enthused than ever, to do a great job for you and your business.  And if truth be known, most people do just want to hear the truth.  They want their boss or colleagues to be 100% honest with them.  Let’s face it, hearing the truth is so much better than feeling like you’re being talked about in the board room, or that HR have your name written down on a naughty list somewhere.

Nobody comes to work to do a bad job.

Nobody comes to work to do a bad job – I’ve always believed this to be true.  And I’ve always believed most (a very high percentage) people’s intentions are good.  So knowing that staff want to hear the truth, and that they really do want to do the best job they can, means we just need to get really good at having conversations where quality feedback is given.

Your team will thank you for being good at giving feedback.

So here’s my checklist to help you plan your next ‘honest conversation’:-

  1. Make sure you are having the feedback conversation in an appropriate place.  This will depend on a few factors but getting the venue right, can make or break it.
  2. Be timely.  Don’t wait weeks to have the conversation.  Same day is best.
  3. Be factual.  Only base your feedback on your own observations (not those of others – that would be considered ‘hearsay’)
  4. Give examples.  Be precise about what you’ve observed.
  5. Explain the impact.  “I felt this way” “The customer found you to be..”
  6. It’s a two way conversation.  Ask for comments and discuss it openly.
  7. Make a plan for avoidance.  “Next time, I’d like you to…”
  8. Show appreciation (if applicable) for their professional approach to hearing something that they weren’t hoping to hear.

I hope this helps you on your way to being awesome at giving feedback.

I’d love to hear how it goes….

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