10 Simple ways of giving effective feedback to your subordinate
Being in a position to give feedback is a delicate responsibility. The basic requisite of giving effective feedback is to do it one-on-one and in a compassionate tone. You must take great care and caution to ensure that the person receiving it has participated with you actively and positively as much as you have.
With the arrival of the month of March as companies set up the annual performance reviews, here are ten simple ways of making the exercise mutually beneficial:
Feedback must be a continuous process
Most feedback sessions are one-off situation where the person on the other side feels that once they have ‘endured’ the session, the topic will die down. For the process of feedback to yield a lasting result, you must regularly monitor progress by discussion from time to time.
Give a suggestion and not a prescription
Your final aim as the superior is to empower and enable your sub-ordinate to do his best. Your feedback therefore must comprise of various possibilities and not a one-point formula which restricts your sub-ordinate to explore and use his potential.
If you are in an out of the ordinary state, like anger or sadness or fatigue, restrain yourself from giving another person any feedback. Your own emotions should never cloud the mood of the feedback conversation.
Share the observation instead of the interpretation
An observation is based on facts and is non-judgmental. An interpretation on the other hand is your analysis of the observation. While interpreting, we run the risk of falling into the trap of classifying matters based on our preconceived notions.
Focus on what can be changed
There are matters beyond your circle of influence, i.e. things which you cannot change, which you must previously ascertain. Feedback must only be on things which a person has the ability to transform by himself.
Don’t attack the person
An insensitive feedback which devalues the person receiving it will do more damage than you can perceive. It will not just put the person in a defensive stance, but also stifle his effort to listen with an open mind and make the entire activity an unpleasant and unproductive experience.
When you notice something which needs a feedback, give it immediately. First, it prevents further damage from occurring and second, it gives the person more time to work on it to get positive results.
Use direct language
Using words like ‘but’, ‘although’, and ‘however’ contradict the preceding part of the message. Feedback must not be a confusing message which becomes complicated for the receiver to understand.
Encourage a dialogue
Leave room for the receiver to speak up and explain his perspective in the feedback session. Ideally therefore, it is a two-way conversation where you must seek to listen and understand.
Define positive actionable steps together
Agree on what the person must do in very clear, definite, actionable steps with no space for ambiguity and delay. Also, make clear what role you shall play to enable the person to achieve them. This would help your session to conclude positively and productively.
Feedback is often perceived with the bias of being irresponsible criticism and sometimes even demoralizing judgment.
We hope that the above
About The Author
Vijay Batra is an MBA, from University of Pittsburgh, USA and a graduate of the Japan Management Program from JAIMS, Hawaii, USA. He joined Kankaku Securities (subsidiary of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank) as a lifetime employee in 1987.