Effective Feedback

Effective feedback is a powerful tool. Think of the coach that pulls a player to the sidelines to give real-time feedback. The coach’s objective is to improve performance. The same goes for our team. Here are some ways to help your team welcome the feedback.

1. Ask permission. It makes a huge difference. E.g., “Can I share an observation with you?” Also, be mindful of when and where the feedback occurs.

2. Be specific. Use directly observed quotes and behaviors. E.g., “During our team meeting, you singled out Bob for not delivering the project on time. It was clear you were upset by the tone of your voice and body language. I recall you saying we can lose this account because you missed the deadline.”

3. Explain the impact. E.g., “When you get stressed, you show your frustration and talk angrily to the team. It can be demotivating.”

4. Wait and listen. What is the reaction? Be open-minded. There may be more to the story.

5. Suggest an alternative. Share a concrete behavior that could have a better impact. E.g., “Perhaps in this situation, you can take Bob aside and ask what happened, and how you can best support him and the team to prevent this from occurring in the future. We all make mistakes. The goal is to learn and grow from them.”