Giving feedback is a crucial building block to developing your team. It’s informs how you will address concerns in a constructive manner that gets you the results you desire. It impacts your success whether you are building your team, coaching them to success, or trying to deal with low performers.
Start From “I”
Feedback is not the same as judgment. You may have witnessed what you perceive as a mistake, but you may not have the perspective to see why your team member chose that strategy. Give yourself sufficient time to walk back any anger you may be experiencing and then approach it as an observer. Starting from “I noticed…” and “I was concerned about…” allows your team member to help you create a context rather than putting them on the defensive and shutting down their ability to listen and respond effectively. This should be a positive experience for both of you.
Give Feedback in a Timely and Appropriate Manner
Don’t hold onto feedback until review time – you need to help people when they are experiencing difficulty or success. According to one survey “80% of millennials said they would prefer feedback in real time rather than via traditional performance reviews.” According to Forbes, this is not limited to Generation Y, so if you give feedback sparingly, it’s time to build that skillset.
If the feedback is to address a concern, the appropriate venue is in private. Your goal should not be to embarass them in front of their peers or to create an opportunity for other people to chime in and derail the process.
Most people like to be praised in front of their peers, such as at weekly meetings. But to some, praise in front of others is uncomfortable. Learn how your individual team members prefer to receive praise and treat them accordingly.
Also bear in mind that when praise addresses effort and actions taken rather than innate ability, it can be more meaningful and lead to increase performance. “You are so talented” or “that was smart” are good now and then, but “I was blown away by the way you addressed all of the client’s concerns and expedited their paperwork – you are truly an asset to this team” is more powerful and more likely to keep your high performers on your team.