Giving Effective Feedback should not be confused with Giving Praise & Criticism.
Praise/Criticism is based on personal judgments about ones performance/effort and the outcome. It is usually based on opinions or feelings and is focused on the PERSON rather than the ACTION.
Hey Dave, Great Job Today
Today is too vague. What part of the 8 hour work day did he do a great job on?
Nancy, You’re always late
Always? Really? Can you back that up? Providing proof is a conversation for another day, but be sure you are able to provide SPECIFIC examples. In this case, if the person making the statement had documented Nancy’s lateness they are able get away with saying that.
Constructive Feedback is Information Specific, Issue-Focused and Focused on Observations. Follow the following 3 Guidelines to ensure your feedback is effective.
1) Organize your content
In the first sentence you should have told the person what you are going to giving them feedback about. Then when delivering the feedback make sure it comes from you – this mean’s starting it with “I…”
Not how to do it:
Nancy, you’ve missed deadlines and your work is full of errors. We’re going to lose the Fisher account because of it.
Here’s the right way:
Nancy, our conversation today is about the report you prepared for the Fisher Account. I noticed that you put it on my desk 2 days after the assigned deadline. I had a chance to review it and found that it was full of spelling errors. The report had to be reviewed and re-done – we might lose the account over this.
Notice that the person giving feedback also told them what might happen as a result – this is important. Be sure to make the person aware of what may happen as a result of their actions. Hold them accountable.
2) Deliver it in a Manner that:
– Is Direct.
Don’t fluff the situation – get to the point, this helps alleviate any confusion.
– Avoids “Need-to” statements.
Dave you need to hand in reports on time and make sure you spell-check them.
you could say:
Dave, your report was handed in late with spelling errors.
– Avoids the “but…”
George, you did a great job! but we lost the account.
Wait…what? But I thought George did a great job? Putting the ‘but’ in there basically means: “Hey Sorry, I lied to you about what I said before here comes the truth. If I haven’t said it enough already BE DIRECT!
– Shows sincerity (when Positive)
Great Job Today!
doesn’t really cut it as much as
Dan, when you stepped in today to finish the presentation for Kevin, you really saved our butt! That was greatly appreciated and helped us secure the client
See what I mean?
– Is given in person
DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT, Do not give feedback through a messenger. Do it in person, live, face-to-face. Do not: send it through someone, do it over the phone, do it over an e-mail or instant messenger.
3) Give the feedback ASAP! Or ASAR.
This is done so that the event is still fresh in people’s minds. Feedback is meant to given in real-time (which is why I emphasized giving the feedback “live”). BUT! It may be important to give the feedback ASAR. As Soon As Reasonably-ready. Sometimes angers may flare, or emotions run high. Recognize that people may need time to cool-down before they are ready for a de-brief, otherwise things may be said that are later regretted.
Now it’s your turn!
This was my first post to the Rovolution blog, I’d love to hear your constructive feedback on the design/functionality and content!