Giving feedback that makes the receiver feel good, or at least less bad, can be a difficult task.
Let's delve into the two rules for providing feedback that makes the receiver feel valued and motivated.
Rule 1: Make it about bridging the gap
Feedback is not just about pointing out areas for improvement. It's also about enabling the employee to grow and develop. When giving feedback, position it as bridging the gap: identify where you want the other person to be, give them clear advice on how to get there, and emphasize that you believe they have the ability to bridge that gap. For example, if an employee needs to improve their time-management skills, provide them with specific tools and resources they can use to boost their productivity. Reinforce the idea that you are invested in their growth and that you are confident they can succeed.
Rule 2: Remember, how you say it matters
How feedback is delivered can have a significant impact on how the receiver perceives it. Asking how and when the employee prefers to receive feedback can help ensure that it is well-received. Some employees may prefer to receive feedback in private, while others may be comfortable with receiving it in front of their peers. By asking how and when the employee prefers to receive feedback, you can tailor your approach to ensure that it is constructive and well-received.
Bonus rule: Focus on specific behaviour
Vague feedback is useless, as it can lead the receiver to feel inadequate and demotivated.
If an employee needs to improve their communication skills, provide specific examples of how they can improve rather than saying, "you need to communicate better."
In conclusion, giving feedback that makes the receiver feel valued and motivated is crucial to building a productive and engaged workforce. By focusing on specific behavior, making it about bridging the gap, and asking how and when the employee prefers to receive feedback, you can provide feedback that is constructive, well-received, and ultimately helps employees grow and develop.
- How can specific behaviour-focused feedback enhance the receiver's performance and confidence?
- What are the benefits of positioning feedback as bridging the gap? Could you provide examples of how this approach can be applied in different contexts?
- How can asking for feedback preferences enhance the quality of feedback and promote a culture of trust and openness?