How to ‘do’ feedback as a leader

18 Sep 2013
communicationskillsin employment
Reference: Forbes

Feedback is what helps us to learn and develop. It gives us a 360 degree view on ourselves, so we shouldn’t be afraid of giving it or receiving it. It just needs to be done in the right way with the right sentiment behind it. Remember the last time you received some positive feedback? How did you feel? Alternatively when you have been given feedback badly?

Leaders need to be giving feedback to their teams regularly. Not in a micro-managing way, but in a ‘helping-them-to-continually-improve’ way. The key is to not wait until there is a problem, but to encourage your team, keep them on track and show them where opportunities may lie for them, on a consistent basis. It’s important to be aware of their frame of mind and current pressures when you feel you need to comment and tailor the tone and type of your feedback accordingly. Giving feedback is your opportunity to show your team that you care about them and their careers. 

The best feedback style is to be specific, what exactly was it you observed that is great or could be improved?

If you give feedback, you need to be ok to receive it too. It’s important to shake off a sense of hierarchy when it comes to receiving feedback. Listen carefully to both the good and the constructive. Really take on board what is being said and adjust your style accordingly. Don’t forget how infrequently people give good feedback anyway, but spontaneous, positive feedback from a team member to their manager is rare; so if you hear it, appreciate it and internalise it. With constructive criticisms, don’t get defensive; use it as an opportunity to become a better manager. Recognise that different people can take different amounts of feedback in one go. Ask yourself which they are; a thimble (small doses), a tumbler (medium amounts) or a tanker (tell me everything right now!) and tailor your approach accordingly.

Remember that all feedback is subjective. You may not want or need to act on everything you hear, but look for the kernels of truth and learn from what resonates with you.

For more information on how to give effective feedback do not hesitate to call Claire 07771 332204 or Margaret 07837 951213