How To Give Effective Feedback

One of the areas where managers and leaders are criticised is for not giving employees regular and useful feedback.  There might be a whole host of reasons why feedback does not happen on a regular basis, including:

• The manager or leader is focused too much on task

• The manager or leader has never had much feedback themselves so does not recognise the value

• The manager or leader quite simply does not set aside enough time for managing

Given the value of feedback, what are the top tips for giving feedback?

Tip 1: Do it as a matter of routine

One of the easiest ways of ensuring that you give effective feedback is to make it something you do routinely.  Build it into your schedule and make a point of looking out for things on which to provide feedback.

Tip 2:  Be specific

Whenever you give feedback, aim to be as specific as possible with your feedback.  Often, people say things like something was good.  While this might be nice to hear it is not very useful.  On the other hand if you can point to the specific action or behaviour that was good, the recipient of the feedback can use this strength in the future.

Tip 3:  Know the preferences of the feedback recipient

People in the team have different preferences and part of your job as a manager is to know them and respond to them appropriately.  For example, some will appreciate an e-mail; others will appreciate being praised verbally in front of the whole team, while others will want to get praise one to one.

Tip 4: Be yourself

It is important to be yourself rather than putting on an act.  People will see through the latter and will value the feedback less.

Tip 5: Deal with all aspects of feedback

The chances are that you will be providing positive feedback to most people, most of the time.  There will on the other hand situations where you will have to deal with feedback that is negative.  It is important that you are as ready and willing to deal with the difficult stuff as you are the good stuff.

Bottom Line- Giving feedback can be a huge source of motivation and personal development for team members.  So what do you need to be doing differently to give more effective feedback?

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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