The people you work with aren’t psychic. They don’t know what you are thinking; well, some might be psychic but let’s focus on the ones that aren’t. For us that don’t have mind-reading abilities, regular feedback is crucial for improving the quality of work over time. If someone does something a certain way and you think the way he did it isn’t as efficient as it can be, how would he know the better way to do it if you don’t say something to him or communicate in one way or the other?
Some people believe that feedback is the same as negative criticism; hence they steer clear of it. On the contrary, feedback should always be constructive; feedback should be focused on making things better and improving the next one, rather than bashing someone or focusing on things that can’t be changed. That being said, some feedback is still tough to hear, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.
There’s an art to giving feedback, and that art needs to be mastered by all to produce the best work environment possible. Here are six ways that you can start giving better feedback today :
1. Systemize It
To make giving feedback easier and more efficient, you need to systemize it. It’s not just when something becomes a big issue that you talk about it. If you wait until feedback is urgent, you would have missed many opportunities to give it. Include giving feedback in the weekly agenda so that it can become part of the culture at your organization. If you’re hiring a new person, ensure to tell them about giving and soliciting feedback; so it can be part of how they operate from the start. Just make it a regular part of activities in the organization.
2. Give Feedback During One on One Meetings
Face to face feedback is much more effective than written feedback. When the feedback is written, there’s room for the recipient to misunderstand it. In a one-on-one meeting, after giving feedback, you can answer any subsequent questions that the recipient may have. This isn’t the case with written feedback. A lot of times, follow up emails have to be sent and then a follow up to the follow-up email. All this is time-consuming and simply not efficient. So as much as you can, Feedback should be delivered face to face.
3. Resist The Urge To Serve A Compliment Sandwich
Trying to give both positive and negative feedback at the same time to soften the blow of the negative feedback dilutes the effect of both. The general idea of the sandwich is to say something nice, then say something that might be hard to hear and then say something nice again immediately after. Although the intention is not to hurt the person’s feelings, more often than not, they see right through it, and it comes off as insincere. When giving feedback, just say what needs to be said in the best and most constructive way possible.
4. Don’t Be Fixated On The Past
The whole idea of giving feedback is for growth. There’s no point in obsessing over things that have already happened and can’t be changed. Looking at the past is helpful when you use it to see how things can be done differently in the future. The general idea of feedback is to see what went wrong and how it can be done better in the future or to look at what was done right and ensuring it continues; this leads to never-ending growth in the organization.
5. Positive Feedback Should Be Prioritized
Positive feedback is one of the best ways to create a positive work environment, but it’s not given as often as it should be. It’s a misconception that sharing what your employee could be doing better is the best way to get results. In truth, positive feedback is more powerful than negative feedback. Hearing what you’re doing right is a bigger motivator than hearing what you’re doing wrong; it makes one feel seen and appreciated. Giving positive feedback should be a culture in every organization.
6. Always Recognize Effort
Irrespective of how something came out, some effort was put into it. That effort should always be recognized when feedback is being given, even when it’s corrective feedback. You need to communicate that you appreciate the time and effort put in when you’re giving feedback. This gives the recipient a boost, making them more open to accepting corrections.
Ultimately, feedback is a crucial part of any organization, and as such, it needs to be taken very seriously. The six ways mentioned above will help you get it right when giving feedback and remember, how you deliver feedback could make all the difference.
Published by Chukwunonso Emelumadu