Feedback Clinic: Quick Remedies for Most Common Ailments of Feedback Givers
Not knowing how to start a feedback conversation
Back up a second and review important goals you need to share with your team member. Instead of jumping in with, “You were late,” state your time standard and why it’s important to be on time. Ex. “We need everyone available to serve customer issues as soon as we open.”. Emphasize why their performance is important to you and to the business.
No specifics on what improvements need to be made
If you refer to someone’s performance in a vague way, you may see that person shrug or wonder what you are talking about. Something like, “You need to stay in communication with the whole team about your progress on joint projects,” won’t be clear. A much better example is, “As soon as you knew on Monday that your deliverable would be late, you needed to contact Chris to plan how to get it back on track.”
No solutions for remedying the problem
Receivers of your feedback may not know how to correct a mistake or improve their process(es). Make one or more suggestions and open up the conversation to ideas they have for how to address it. You may also wish to refer them to another team member who can help them.
Start today and avoid going way back in time and generalizing about something they did or don’t do. Start with a recent observation of something you’d like improved. For example, “I noticed in your interaction with that customer yesterday that you didn’t ask for more details about what they needed. Here are a couple of questions you can ask.” Then start following up much more frequently with feedback about what you notice the next time, and the next time… You will then be more current with feedback and can avoid stirring up the accusation that you failed to give feedback earlier.
Being perceived as unfair
Tell everyone in a team meeting that you will give more feedback to everyone on the team, and that you’ll welcome their feedback on how you can improve as their leader. No one will feel “picked on” if they know you are providing feedback to all team members.