Newsletter - Learning Matters - No.7

Giving Feedback

From time to time everyone finds themselves in the situation whereby they have to give feedback to another individual at work.

At Learning Curve we suggest you consider the following points before giving feedback to a team member:

  • Am I giving feedback against measurable standards or criteria?
  • In other words, do people understand what you are basing the feedback on? Your opinion is not measurable but specific and quantifiable standards can be made objective and measurable

  • Choose your words carefully
  • Although people can seem thick-skinned they may be soft in the middle! You need to be sensitive to people's feelings. Consider how they may react and choose an appropriate approach for them

  • Focus on a positive result
  • The purpose of giving feedback is generally to improve performance. It is not a disciplinary interview! Focus on achieving improvements and praising the team members for their successes - keep it balanced

  • Show good listening skills
  • Listening attentively helps to build rapport and trust

  • Ask open ended questions
  • A good coach, leader or facilitator asks questions to get the team member to open up and identify their own strengths and development areas. Some well-prepared questions are vital in any feedback situation

  • Give feedback promptly
  • The value of feedback is diminished if it is given too long after the event has occurred. Immediate feedback is more powerful and the discussion is then based on remembered events rather than a distant memory

To evaluate your own feedback skills use the form below.

Standard Yes No
1. Did you open the discussion on a positive note?
2. Did you ask the team member for their general thoughts, opinions, feelings?
3. Did you ask the team member what they thought they did well?
4. Did you ask the team member what area they weren't so happy with?
5. Did you ask mainly open questions?
6. Did you give appropriate praise?
7. Did you balance good feedback with areas for improvement?
8. Did you encourage the team member to set their own objectives?
9. Did you end the discussion on a positive note?
10. Were you friendly and in control?

Learning Curve - Reading, Berkshire, England: +44 (0)118 987 5683

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