Two individuals may have an entirely different outlook on the same situation, which is why offering feedback is an important part of effective communication. Providing and receiving professional, constructive feedback empowers us to realize someone else’s perspective of our work and performance.
When feedback is given constructively and in a professional manner, it can propel significant performance and behavioral changes. But neglecting to give feedback properly, particularly when it is important to acknowledge and discuss inappropriate mannerisms, can have detrimental consequences.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to improve your ability to provide effective feedback and give your employees the input they need to modify their behavior or improve their work performance. Consider the following tips to administer effective, constructive feedback
Be as Clear as Possible
The objective of offering professional and constructive feedback is to alter an individual’s behavior for the better. If you don’t explain exactly why someone’s behavior is problematic or counterproductive with detailed precision, the other person won’t be able to understand why the behavior is an issue. Make sure you give focused feedback and an actionable route toward improvement. Rather than telling an individual he or she behaved unprofessionally or that their work is not up to par, say exactly what needs to change.
Stepping in to provide feedback promptly is a vital part of identifying a problem before it gets worse and preventing the situation from getting out of hand. If you let a situation grow worse over time, you may end up holding a grudge and lashing out at the person in the future.
Give Feedback Privately
Always provide feedback in a safe place, where you won’t have to worry about someone walking in on you, distracting you, or overhearing you.
Avoid making too many assumptions when providing someone with feedback, as this tends to prevent effective communication. To fight against assumptions and judgements, welcome the individual to participate in a discussion and avoid making the conversion one-sided. Make time to let the other person tell their side of the story to grasp a better understanding of their behavior and let him or her know you are willing to hear them out.
Speak With “I” Statements
Provide feedback specifically from your perspective with “I” statements to avoid placing blame or labeling a person. For example, say “I was alarmed when you did not wear the appropriate attire to the meeting with the managers yesterday” rather than, “You dressed inappropriately yesterday.”
Sharpen Your Focus
When you are preparing to give someone feedback, be sure to limit the discussion to one or two issues. If you try to pile on more, you increase the chances of the person feeling attacked or bombarded. Be sure you focus your feedback on the behaviors he or she can change or improve on rather than things that are out of the person’s control.
Follow Up Respectfully
As the underlying goal of offering professional feedback is to help an individual improve performance or rectify behavior; you should always take time to monitor \progress, encourage success, and make alterations as time goes on.