Feedback is a Gift
Feedback is a gift -- when done properly. The very word strikes
fear into the hearts of millions of workers every day, because
the only time they get feedback is when it is rolled by a
manager who wants to criticise -- yet put a bit of positive
spin on it.
Ever been there? I know I have and it sets off that internal
groan, because you know just what's coming.
Feedback is a gift -- remember that at the start of this piece?
It can be a gift where used constructively, consistently and
with goodwill. It is available to all of us, all the time,
whether we are a manager or an employee with a manager. It
is available two-way and when used that way is a valuable
tool for developing everyone in your organisation, department
or team, however big you are, however small.
In fact personal self-feedback can be the 'holy grail' of
development, where we get to be thoroughly honest with ourselves
about how we are doing (and accepting self-praise when it
Back to others -- how do we get feedback to work so that people
really embrace it rather than run away from it?
Here are ten little tips to help you get the best from Feedback:-
1. Be Consistent!
Be consistent and give regularly -- be a model for others
to observe and then do themselves.
2. Receive Feedback Yourself
By personally asking for and receiving feedback you will receive
much more you can use positively than to your detriment.
3. Value the Potential
We get too little truth in our lives as managers. People are
nice to us face-to-face and then talk about us behind our
backs. Feedback opens up the loop.
4. It's About What, Not Who
Feedback is about the behaviour, and not the individual. It's
saying that you do a great job and this time what happened
in detail. What did you 'do', not who are you.
5. Lose the Criticism
Always offer feedback and then, first ask them 'What went
well?', and once you have given them time for that, 'What
might you try differently next time?' And after they've said
their bit, do it for them yourself. They will appreciate recognising
their own performance first.
6. Look to the Future
Growth opportunities present when they see the possibilities
and usually, they see them for themselves first. Thus ownership
of a new solution in the future gives hope and excitement
and evolution of performance.
7. Be Unconditionally Constructive
By avoiding negatives and 'but' you will engage rather than
put off. Your people will be with you rather than against.
8. Deliver Promptly
The best time is in the moment, at the time or as close to
is as possible. If you give your feedback at the first opportunity,
you will find it is much better received.
9. Open Your Questions
Ask discovery questions with ease -- there is no falseness,
nor discomfort. Indeed the use of this questioning skill binds
the relationships they are so good at making. The 6 Wise Men
do this best Who, What, When, Where, How and Why.
10. Provide Support
Whatever the learning from this regular and consistent feedback
you are using (two-way), there may be the need for ongoing
support and coaching -- be sure to offer it.
Feedback, a much underestimated and much maligned business
opportunity, ready and waiting for you right now.
Copyright 2005, 2007 Martin Haworth
Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach.
He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com
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