Focus in feedback: Don’t let feedback turn into a fight

In our courses on Giving and receiving feedback, we find that a lot of people don’t really understand the feedback process—what it is or how to do it properly.

Feedback is an integral part of developing a team in an office. A good feedback session is one in which views are exchanged in a respectful way. Both the giver and receiver of the feedback should leave the session in a positive frame of mind with raised self-awareness and new opportunities for change.

Conducting a feedback session:

Focus on specific things as opposed to general comments.

Take written notes with you on any physical or verbal behaviours or actions that concern you: noting the ‘who, what and when’ of a particular event.

Make sure you have the evidence and the reasoning behind the perceived problem.

Make sure that the person you are giving feedback to has a copy of the current job documentation and that they understand what is expected of them. Have clearly defined targets.

Always identify the behaviour, rather than the person. Be specific, so don’t say, ‘You’re always late’, but rather, ‘I notice you’ve been an hour late six times in the past two weeks.’

If the employee says that your suggestions were helpful, follow it up with ‘How were they helpful to you?’ or ‘Is there anything else that I can do to help with this problem?’

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