How To Give Feedback That Gets Results

Published: May 7, 2014
By: Faye Hollands

Giving constructive feedback can sometimes feel like walking a tightrope on a windy day – uncomfortable and risky with a high change of serious repercussions!  Telling someone they’ve done a bad job or haven’t quite hit the mark isn’t generally much fun, but it’s also something that many of us will have to do at some point in our careers.  With that in mind it’s important to know how to approach those tricky conversations in the best way possible.  If you’re about to deliver a performance review, or need to give a client or service provider some tough-love, here’s how….

Be Prepared

Giving constructive feedback doesn’t have to be painful!  Follow these 10 simple steps to help you deliver performance feedback that adds value: –

1.  Cut the crap: don’t fill your sentences with filler words, irrelevant information and nervous babble – instead be specific and straightforward with your feedback so there’s no ambiguity or confusion

2.  Be timely: avoid the temptation to put off difficult conversations as timely feedback is critical to results.  When something’s not going right nip it in the bud NOW rather than waiting for the job to be finished or a performance review date to be set.

3.  Context: clearly articulate how the issue at hand impacts the team, department or business goals, allowing the other person to see the bigger picture

4.  Listen: Avoid assumptions and and instead make sure you actively listen to the other persons point of view and explanation – don’t interrupt!

5.  Offer ideas: be proactive and ready to discuss alternative options to problems rather than just pointing out what’s gone wrong.

6.  Action: help develop a clear action plan to help address the changes needed and make sure that both parties are in agreement

7.  Watch your words: our words create our world, so choose them carefully or be prepared for the backlash – respectful communication is critical

8.  Direction: Focus your comments on behaviours that the person can change to keep the conversation constructive

9.  In person: Wherever possible, always aim to give constructive feedback in person – emails can easily be misunderstood and it’s harder to build rapport over the phone

10.  Get a room: Never deliver feedback in public – make sure you have somewhere private to talk where both parties feel comfortable

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Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.

To receive your FREE MP3 download of Faye’s popular teleseminar ‘How To Create A Career You Love‘ and weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

Faye Hollands

About Faye Hollands

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. To receive weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here or book your Free Focus Session here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

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