Call: (03) 5261 6237
Giving feedback is a crucial component of managing performance. This means regularly giving constructive feedback, not just once a year in a formal performance review. Imagine if an AFL Coach or Captain only spoke once a year with their football players to provide feedback? How useful would that be? How could players identify what they were doing well and not so well in order to change or improve throughout the year?
Giving and receiving feedback is one of the most important communication activities you can engage in with members of your team. Often we associate giving feedback with giving bad news or negative insights, which is not always the case. Feedback can of course be positive and should always be constructive.
When done in the right way and with the right intentions, feedback is the key to performance improvement. Employees have to know what they are doing well and not so well. In order for feedback to be effective and contribute to improved motivation and performance it has to be delivered carefully and frequently.
Giving feedback effectively is a skill. And like all skills, it takes practice to build your confidence and improve. It’s not something you “just know” how to do. The following is a collection of "feedback giving" tips that you can start putting into practice straight away:
Examples of good and bad feedback:
Instead of saying
Focus on the specific behaviour
You are unreliable.
There have been a couple of times this week when you have turned up late, Monday and Wednesday.
You are just slack. You still haven’t completed what I asked you to.
I’ve noticed that some of your tasks remain outstanding. As you know, we require all reports submitted by 10am each Monday morning. This hasn’t been happening and it is impacting on our team’s performance rating.
You’re a terrible communicator. You didn’t let anyone know you were not coming in.
Lately there have been occasions when I haven’t been notified that you were not coming in. It is important that I be made aware of any absences so I can plan accordingly.
You are a liar
There have been occasions recently where your comments have not reflected the truth. This has put me and the team in a difficult position.
I am not confident that I can trust some of the things you say
The importance of tackling those tough conversations
Many managers avoid giving critical feedback for fear of being subjected to a bullying complaint. This can stem from a lack of confidence or knowledge about how to manage performance and give appropriate feedback. Some may skate around the issue, ignore the problem, or others may pass it to someone from HR. Avoiding tough conversations can create serious consequences, including:
So yes, whilst it can be unpleasant if you are ill-prepared tackling tough discussions can be made easier with the right tools and techniques in place.
About the Author:
Melanie Kearsey, an S3 Trainer and Coach provides Leadership training to supervisors and managers who are in positions of directing the performance of others. Melanie gives people the skills to give and receive feedback effectively.
S3 Business Solutions
Call: 03 5261 6237