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Giving Effective Feedback to Your Team

Giving effective feedback is a process that has a positive outcome if done correctly. The importance of giving effective feedback is increasingly gaining attention in order to get the most out of a team or employees. Providing employees with accurate feedback based on their performance, is meant to aid them to do better as well as prepare them for the future.

Unfortunately, oftentimes feedback doesn’t accomplish the expected and intended results. Instead, it proves to have the opposite result. There are many reasons that this might happen. Either the feedback isn’t given to the person keeping in mind that person’s mentality towards feedback. Or it is not given with a true intention of improving the employee’s performance. It could also be that the person receiving the feedback is resistant to any kind of critique. Whatever the reason, if feedback doesn’t truly resonate with the receiver, the situation will not improve and neither will the employee’s performance. This means that they are likely to repeat their mistakes over and over.

Giving effective feedback will lead to the employee taking the feedback in a positive manner and actually working on it to better themselves and their performance. Here is how you can give effective feedback;

1. Give feedback on time

Timing is one of the most essential aspects of providing effective feedback. This is because, if feedback is not provided in a timely manner, it does not allow the employee to connect that feedback to their performance. So, it loses its value and will not have the desired effect on the employee receiving the feedback. Giving timely feedback ensures that the employee makes an unconscious and conscious connection to that subject and is able to gather the tools to put it into action.

2. Be descriptive and specific

Your employees may be confused and unproductive as a result of feedback that comprises only a few details and that are not properly explained. To avoid this, break down the feedback and make it clear so that they can genuinely absorb it and change their performance.

Giving effective feedback also includes being extremely specific with the feedback you give your team or employees. The feedback should aim to solve the problem and better future performance. So rather than giving vague feedback such as, “You can do better,” make it more specific to the problem. You could say, “Pay more attention to the details such as the names and numbers in your report,” or “Try scheduling a buffer into your timeline so that you don’t miss your deadline.” You can also offer to help them with a particular challenge and say, “Let’s figure this out together.” Specific feedback offered with genuine concern and investment in the employee’s career and future will get the right response.

Framing your feedback in the right way can better assist you in identifying areas where your team members need to improve. They will have a better idea of what they need to do to improve after receiving descriptive criticism. This improves their involvement and boosts their spirit.

3. Focus on future performance

The primary objective of giving feedback is to help in the improvement of your employees or team members’ performance in the future. So focus on that. Focusing on what went wrong and the past unconsciously results in the employee feeling helpless and frustrated, because they can’t change what has happened. But focusing on the future allows them to direct their energies and thoughts into how they can better themselves.

4. Be empathetic

Giving feedback is an emotional procedure that might result in sentiments of humiliation, pride, or relief. To provide useful comments or insights, you must have empathy for the other person’s situation, especially if the other person is becoming defensive about the matter. The more empathy you have for other people’s situations, the more closely connected you are to what they are going through. This improves communication and mutual understanding, which will help to strengthen the relationship and will help you in giving effective feedback.

5. Choose the kind of feedback

Some employees respond well to positive feedback, while others respond better to negative feedback, and yet others to other types of feedback. Try and decipher which employee prefers which and use that knowledge to help you in giving effective feedback to every employee.

6. Make it a conversation

While it might be a feedback session for you as a leader to give the team feedback, don’t let it be a one-way monologue. Encourage your employee who is receiving the feedback, to ask questions and talk about how they can implement the feedback effectively. This will not only ensure the employee has understood clearly where and how they can improve, but it will also take out the daunting feeling that generally goes with feedback sessions and change it to a positive feeling where they can focus on learning and growing. So, create a comfortable environment where you and your team members may freely discuss issues and improve together.

Giving effective feedback can be challenging for the giver as well as the receiver. But, keeping the above advice in mind, feedback can evolve into an opportunity to grow and thrive collectively.

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