Giving effective feedback —about what we’d like to see different and what we appreciate—is key in workplace effectiveness and morale. Want to give high impact feedback? Here are a few tips:
- Create shared reality. What’s the current situation you want to address? By giving a clear observation, with concrete details, all parties can get on the same page. “We need more team work,” might seem concrete. But what do you mean by “teamwork”? What does teamwork look like?
- Localize—don’t globalize. If you’re frustrated or disappointed about something—or excited or happy– it’s easy to go into broad strokes and evaluations. The focus easily becomes on them–the person, or the team or organization—rather than behavior, what’s actually happening. Focus on what you want to change and how this would make a difference for you and others.
- What’s driving the situation? Why does this matter? You’re bringing it up for a reason. So share the need that would be met by addressing the issue—such as efficiency, clarity, or shared reality. Want to see more business needs? Download a Needs-Feelings-Inventory here.
- Make frequent connection requests. Often when giving or receiving feedback, people are nervous or vulnerable Checking in with the other person—-about what they heard and if they understand your concern—is crucial in creating clarity and closing the loop. “How does that sound to you?” “Does that make sense?” “I wonder if you can understand why I was concerned about that?”
When you give effective feedback it addresses the immediate concern and also builds honesty, trust and collaboration over time.