Feedback is a valuable tool within companies as it has the power to recognize and motivate employees. Even so, did you know that not all organizations know how to give feedback? This means that they fail to invest in periodic and consistent evaluation formats.
Many people confuse feedback with praise or criticism, however, it goes far beyond that. It is a time for performance analysis, recognition of achievements, and assessment of strengths and areas to be developed.
To be effective, it must be carried out seriously, otherwise, it has no effect on the day-to-day and the evolution of professionals.
If there are still doubts about the importance of feedback, know that according to a Harvard survey, this is one of the best ways to encourage the evolution of employee performance.
In this article, you will be able to check out some important tips on how to give feedback, as well as the importance and benefits of this tool in the day-to-day of a company.
How to Give Feedback? 9 Tips to Help in This Process
First of all, let’s explain in a very didactic way what feedback is so that there is no doubt about the concept.
Understand that feedback is an assessment, that is, a process that a professional goes through to receive an analysis of their performance in the tasks they perform.
It is recommended that companies have formal moments of feedback, the so-called “performance evaluations”, however, nothing prevents there is also some informal feedback when necessary.
It’s important to keep in mind that good feedback allows each professional to dig deeper into their strengths and build on others’ views of their work.
It is, therefore, essential for professional development, especially concerning the future. After all, good feedback today results in a person better prepared for their role later on.
Now, about how to give feedback, it is important to point out that the tool is often ineffective because companies do not train their managers properly at this moment.
Let’s check out some tips that can help in this situation that, for some, can be very uncomfortable at first, but that over time ends up becoming part of the routine.
1. Prepare in Advance
When you’re wondering how to give feedback, remember that the first rule of thumb is to prepare in advance.
A mistake that can ruin the process is not making a prior analysis of the professional who will receive the assessment, that is, having clarity about their strengths and developing them.
In addition, feedback is also the time to talk about inappropriate behavior and mistakes that should not be repeated.
To arrive prepared, with a consistent and grounded speech, you need to stop a few hours of your day to do the necessary analysis and study how the message will be transmitted to the receiver.
No impromptu feedback, because you will need to be ready to face possible objections that may occur during the conversation. The best way to do this is to study the argumentation of each point to be discussed well.
2. Start by Creating a Favorable Climate
Don’t start the feedback conversation by saying the person’s full assessment right away. Try to start the conversation by breaking the ice and introducing topics that are not necessarily related to the assessment.
Chances are, both of you are nervous, so this introduction to other topics can be a good strategy to ease the tension a bit.
3. Summarize Everything That Will Be Said
Another useful tip when it comes to how to give feedback is to do a small initial briefing reinforcing all the points you will come across throughout the conversation. All this before starting the assessment itself.
In addition to decreasing anxiety, this technique helps to get everyone on the same page, aligning expectations.
4. Don’t Be Aggressive When Talking About Weaknesses
It is important to be careful, especially at times when it is necessary to talk about the weaknesses of the other.
Everyone can react differently, that is, you have to be prepared to deal with the situation.
The most important thing at these times is, to be honest, and have a well-founded narrative, through honest arguments. The best way to make others understand what they need to develop is to raise real examples that make them understand how they can improve.
Also, never be rude, as this will only raise the spirits and make the person feel offended.
The language must always be clear, calm, and subtle, emphasizing that it is normal to have room for improvement and that everyone is ready to help in the development of the professional in question.
5. Start by Highlighting Strengths
A commonly used technique is to start the conversation by highlighting the employee’s strengths.
This is the time to talk about the moments when the professional performed above expectations, what his best skills are and how all this contributed to the company.
By starting the feedback in this way, you will be creating a favorable environment for later talking about the points to develop without the person feeling that they have not had any recognition.
6. Avoid Comparing With Colleagues
An important tip is to avoid, throughout the conversation, making comparisons with other colleagues, as this type of attitude can end up generating envy or a climate of competition.
It is recommended to evaluate each person only based on their performance and behavior, as this does not generate unnecessary friction or accusations that the manager has “a favorite”.
7. Use Real Examples
Whenever possible, try to use real examples to address both strengths and areas to be developed.
This is important because, in this way, the professional has a clearer understanding of everything that is being discussed, as the conversation is based on concrete cases.
8. Be Empathetic
At these times it is very important to be empathetic, that is, to be able to put yourself in the other’s shoes.
Feedback is a moment that always ends up activating human defense mechanisms, so as a manager you will need to be ready to put yourself in the other’s shoes and try to imagine what it is like to receive that message.
This requires active listening and being able to reflect on the points raised about the person receiving the feedback. The tip is not to hit back immediately if there is a lot of resistance, but to demonstrate understanding and come back to the subject at another time.
9. Build an Action Plan Together
Finally, it is worth mentioning that each company must have its performance evaluation model, but it is always important to finish with an action plan.
This means that consistent and structured feedback is useless if, in the end, nothing is done with the information gathered.
The action plan exists so that the leader and the led can, together, outline actions that aim to help the professional to improve his points to develop and reinforce his strengths.
There are several models of action plans, but in all cases, it is usually important to outline objectives and, of course, actions to achieve them.