"Two-Way Communication: Feedback"
Newsletter Jul 23, 2014
Anytime a person speaks or acts, there is an opportunity to give feedback. We show we are listening and that the speaker’s contributions are important by providing feedback. The ultimate objective of feedback is to strengthen progress toward objectives. Whether it is responding to a request or coaching an employee through a learning process, feedback is important in generating the results that we need to be successful in the workplace. This can be achieved by providing genuine constructive or encouraging feedback to the recipient.
How do we do that?
Recognize a strength
Identify a positive that you see with an employee. Then let that employee know why that strength is important and relevant. This will encourage your employee and reassure them that they are making real progress towards their objectives.
Keep it brief
Try to keep your feedback to 10 to 20 seconds or less. Being short and concise will allow your message to be more powerful. You will have your employee’s complete attention during this time, and you do not need to water your feedback down with a long-winded response.
Focus on the person and not yourself – Remember, you are trying to build confidence within your employee. It is important to shine the light on the person you are giving the feedback to and not on yourself. So boss – learn to shut up!
Get the group to respond
When possible, provide opportunities for a group to encourage its members. Hearing from a peer will help boost an employee’s confidence. A good way to manage this is to specify that you want feedback arranged around two angles – what was good about what they said or did, and how can we make it even better. This accentuates the positive and denies critics a soapbox to pontificate from.
Ensure the response is person-centered
Try not to reiterate what the person already said or did. Instead you want to highlight a strength and relate that strength or quality to the person’s real world. We all heard the comment, so let’s look for something a bit deeper than that. This type of insight is so powerful and is a builder of people.
We are all shockers for finishing each other’s sentences, for concentrating on what we are going to say and for not really listening to others. By handling feedback opportunities well, we differentiate ourselves as leaders and we create an environment of trust and credibility.