In my article below I try to give you some insights and general guidance on how to deliver and ask for feedback.
The importance of feedback is widely known in the business world and yet most managers feel discomfort when facing it, both ways, either on the giving or receiving end. Being evaluated is as equally important as evaluating others.
Giving feedback is far from simple – it’s a skill that needs to be mastered to produce desired results.
The process of delivering feedback in a good way should always avoid confrontation while staying on point and have clear the right questions to ask to be efficient.
Why is feedback so important?
Regardless of you being at your first job or running your own company for years, feedback is equally important for everyone.
It is an essential part of people’s career path and a prerequisite for both personal and professional development.
If it’s constructive with the aim for improvement, feedback helps people grow, learn from actions and mistakes, recognize similar situations in the future and prepare them to react adequately, improves communication and sets clear expectations among team members.
As mentioned, feedback should help improve something and do things better.
Make sure to always keep that in mind when talking to another person and evaluating their actions or behavior. There are situations where probably feedback should not be given.
Think about the main reason why feedback is being given, is it for improving a process and achieving better results or is it just for? Ego-trips never bring positive results. Period.
Are we sure you are the right person to give feedback on a specific subject or problem that’s arisen?
If you just disagree with your peer’s actions, but not sure whether sharing your thoughts will be beneficial pass it to a competent person.
The effectiveness of the whole process depends on many variable factors, such as subject, degree of the problem, personality of parties involved, relationship, timing, and many other.
Focus on good things first and bad second
Emphasize what they do right and gently point out to problematic matter.
“We” statement instead of “you”
Whenever assessing someone’s work or behavior, always use “we” statement. Avoiding pointing fingers, expressing how the team feel about their behavior.
“What if” instead of “But”
As mentioned above, focus on good things first whenever evaluating team members or giving feedback in general .Every time we say “but” after a good part, everything we previously said loses its power.
Focus on behavior, not personality
Emphasizing that a problematic subject lies in what people do, not what they are. Actions create problems and they are correctable, not human beings nature.
Never changing topics or bring up previous disagreements to support the argument. Avoiding talking about things from the past.
The timing is important
Timing is of essence when it comes to giving feedback. Not every comment is adequate in every situation. Never criticize in front of others if a critique is not related to them.
Positive vs. negative feedback
Many people have the aversion of providing negative feedback, which is as equally important as positive.
Positive feedback fosters motivation, negative improves performance, if delivered correctly.
When providing positive feedback, express appreciation, and when giving negative, show concern instead of anger.
Feedback it’s never personal
It can get difficult to separate personal from professional when giving feedback to your teammates.
Keep emotions out of it and never get personal.
Asking for feedback
Asking for feedback is as much important as giving it. Always seek feedback from relevant people with right set of competency and that are able to recommend improvements.
• How am I going?
• What are the areas of improvements?
• What’s my impact on other?
• How my attitude aligns with the team/company culture?
Opinion can never be objective. It’s always subjective simply by belonging to an individual.
Regardless of evaluating peers or being evaluated, There is always room for improvement, so it needs to be considered as an ongoing process with a never-ending development.