Todd Dewett helps you understand the overall feedback process including why providing effective feedback is a core part of a managers roles and responsibilities.
- I understand that some of you really don't love the idea of giving feedback. Okay, but we all need it from time to time, including you, so let's think about the feedback process for a minute. Step one is to stay connected. That's all about your understanding of the need for feedback. You might have one employee or many, but the point is the same. You need to know enough about how their work is proceeding to know when feedback is needed. You stay connected with each employee differently depending on their needs and your time. There are two keys, here. First, try to see them in person more than any other way you communicate. Face-to-face communication is impossible to beat. Then, of course, we have the telephone, video calls, and texts. They can all play a role, but don't check in too often. You're looking for the minimum number of check-ins that will give you the insight you need about their performance without becoming a micromanager. Step two is easy. It's planning. Sometimes you need to speak up quickly in the moment. Okay, but you can still pause and run through your comments in your head first. Ideally, prep for a minute. Take a note or two to capture the major bullet points, and then engage. Step three is delivery. The goal here is to nail effective delivery and ensure the recipient really hears you. That starts with who should deliver the feedback. Often, this will be you, the supervisor. Other times, you might think about a colleague who is better positioned to deliver the feedback and actually be heard. Also, consider when to deliver feedback. The best answer, usually, is as soon as possible. It's also smart to respect where feedback happens, so be sure to find a private place to show respect. Now, in terms of the content of what you deliver, just remember to give them an amount that won't overwhelm them. Give feedback that is specific and detailed so as to be helpful, but frame it as helpful and supportive, not overly critical. Sure, critical feedback is sometimes needed, but always err on using a kind and positive perspective. Finally, you have to follow up. You have to close the loop. You can't assume they heard you, agreed, and have begun implementing your thoughts. Instead, go find out. Follow-up is really just staying connected after you've delivered to be sure things are moving along as expected. This is a process that's easy, practical, and gets results. So, stay connected, plan, deliver, and follow up. That's when your feedback is likely to be very helpful.