Providing feedback is a dreaded activity for many leaders. According to a survey, 44% of managers implied that providing negative feedback is daunting, while 21% admitted to avoiding giving feedback. Practice is necessary for providing effective feedback. Read on to learn how to give feedback effectively.
- Practice Empathy
Practice empathy by putting yourself in your employees’ shoes and trying to understand them. Your feedback will be received well if you deliver it with empathy, as employees will know the critique is meant to help them improve. Exercising empathy before providing feedback eliminates guilt and puts you in a better place to communicate openly.
- Prepare Adequately
Before providing feedback, it is best to take time and adequately prepare what you want to tell your subordinates and how you want to say it. You can be indirect and use a good tone to provide feedback to an underperforming employee who is doing better in other areas. You can be direct to an underperforming employee who has received warnings in the past but is still performing poorly. Preparation makes you ready for anything.
- Be Specific
Beating around the bush is highly discouraged when providing feedback. As a general rule of thumb, you should be very specific when delivering feedback to employees. Identify a specific issue and address it directly. Also, state its effects and share its impacts on the organization and the individual’s career. Being more clear and direct eliminates room for misinterpretation.
- Use Inquiry
It is important to set aside time for inquiry when providing feedback. You can use inquiry at the beginning or end of the conversation. In the beginning, ask the recipient about their opinion on the issue. In the end, ask them about the feedback and how it has affected them.
- Dwell on the Future
After delivering the feedback, turn the focus of the conversation to what will happen after. Inform the recipient how they can become better in the future and how the two of you can work together to avoid future issues.
Although providing feedback can be stressful, you should always do it. It will help you become a great leader and enable your employees to grow.