- Keep it private - make sure that the feedback is given on a one to one basis, without an audience of onlookers.
- Be direct, open and honest.
- Be aware of the impact of your words and body language.
- Listen as well as talk.
- Provide detailed examples of behavior that needs to be changed.
- Express your feeling so that your listener can see how their behavior is impacting you, the department, and the organization.
- Offer clear guidelines for improvement - describe the changes you want.
- Offer feedback as soon as possible after the performance of a task.
- Set a deadline for improvement.
- End the meeting on a positive, upbeat note.
- Monitor the situation and, if necessary, meet again for further discussion.
- Give feedback as a clear report of the facts.
- Give feedback when there is a good chance it can be used helpfully. It may not be helpful if the receiver feels there is currently other work that demands more attention.
Feedback can lead to improvements only when it is about things which can be changed. You should always consider your own reasons for giving feedback. Are you trying to be helpful to the receiver? Or, are you really just getting rid of some of your own feelings or using the occasion to try to get the receiver to do something that would be helpful for you? If you are doing more than trying to help the receiver with feedback, you should share your additional reasons so he/she will understand what you are saying. Giving feedback can sometimes cause the receiver to go away feeling as though he's "not good enough." As the giver don't lecture from some lofty pinnacle of imaginary state of perfection.
If you want someone to change their behavior, then you must offer feedback on performance and explain: what you want them to do differently, why you want them to do it, or how you want it done. Using feedback effectively will ensure higher performance and happier employees.
About the author
Linda Hanson, CMC, is a certified management consultant and author of 10 Steps to Marketing Success. She writes, speaks and consults on marketing, management and customer service issues and can be contacted at www.llhenterprises.com. Sign up for her free newsletter The Superior Performance Report.