Many people have issues when receiving feedback and one of the main reasons is that they don’t trust the feedback that they are receiving. Feedback can conjure up negative connotations and most employees believe that it can only be constructive feedback. Feedback is not always negative or constructive. Leaders and managers need to give more than constructive feedback so they are not always correcting an employee’s issue. It is very important to give positive feedback which can give lasting and defining moments.
The real objective of feedback isn’t just to give it, but to make sure that it is received well also. There is an art of giving feedback as well as receiving it. Feedback needs to be authentic and genuine. Most often we wait too long to give feedback especially when it is constructive. Many times leaders avoid giving it because of all the other responsibilities. This means that the ability to give this constructive and even positive feedback is gone.
Why do we give feedback? Feedback is needed to improve an employee’s performance, teamwork and attitude. Think about feedback as something that can be positive and uplifting. As a manager or leader, invest in the good things and take the time to let your employees know what they are doing well. This will help build up the goodwill so it is easier to give the constructive feedback when necessary. Using positive language when giving feedback will be received more thoughtfully and constructively and most likely acted upon.
When giving constructive feedback, make sure to have a targeted message which is necessary to have a really good coaching conversation. Feedback affects morale and morale is fragile. When giving feedback to an employee, it can provide feedback to others in the company and therefore affects the morale of the whole team. Feedback can be received in the following three levels:
Evasive - keep asking questions, safely challenge the employee, use 3rd-party behavioral rating questions or hypothetical questions.
Apprehensive but agreeable – pursue actions but really focus on feedback toward their effort and conditioning them to mentally stay committed.
Agreeable – stop asking questions and get to the activity to pursue performance improvement through practice. Now is the time to take action.
Always keep in mind how your feedback is going to be received. How they receive feedback will make the difference on what they are going to do with it. Prepare for providing feedback and have your questions ready. Secondly, prepare for and schedule actions that will be taken .
Invest in the good things and every day take time to provide positive feedback. Make sure that employees are receptive to the feedback you are giving. The goal of feedback is to get people to receive it. The art of feedback can be masked in our intent, the meaning and how people perceive it. When coaching an employee to improve his or her performance, as well as to exhibit more effort and progress, be conscious of their perception and your intent.
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