How to Give Feedback
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Members of Connect: Professional Women’s Network share advice for effectively delivering the good, bad and ugly.
How to Give Feedback
At its best, feedback is a powerful tool, stimulating
honest self-reflection, insight and improvement.
At its worst, it’s the reason your colleague wound up crying in the bathroom.
So how do you help your team grow without hurting
any feelings? Take a look at these tips from the women of Connect on how to keep the
office from turning tense.
Be available. “Feedback is vital to developing staff and fostering a collaborative work environment. When the lines of communication are continuously open, it is easy to give feedback.” Nancy Von Borzestowski, Director Clinical Operations
Make positive feedback the norm. “Seizing opportunities to recognize small successes takes the sting out of the typical annual review or pouncing on someone for poor performance.”
Diane Baranello, Career Coach, Speaker, Corporate Trainer
Listen first. “I want to know how I can help them be successful in their roles because it's a "win-win" situation for everyone. I encourage them to tell me ways in which they can improve in certain areas. Make sure your team knows you support them and want them to be successful.”
Lisa Marie Bast, Public & Media Relations
Teach team members to self-evaluate. “I use three questions with my team: What's working? Where are you getting stuck? What will you do differently in the future? Most of the time, they already know the areas they need to work on and it opens them up to hearing my additional feedback.
Karen Stevens, SPHR, Senior HR Professional & Business Partner
Ask permission first. “I start by asking, ‘May I give you some feedback?’. Generally people say ‘yes’ but sometimes they say ‘no’ and that’s OK. Asking permission may seem unusual, but it seems to start a conversation that people want to hear.”
Carolyn Warren, Cyber Investigator
Sugarcoat (a little) to soften the blow. “I give feedback in the compliment sandwich model: point out what they did well, give areas for improvement with clear guidelines how to improve in that area, and then end by summarizing the strengths of their performance.”
Kasey Varner, Contributing Writer
Avoid generalizations. “Be specific, give examples and always give credit for good work.”Alina Kaiser, MBA Candidate University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Be solution-oriented. “Listen a lot and always start with something positive. Try to offer a solution as well.”Carrie Curley, Owner, Curley Design Group
Be conscious of non-verbal cues. “My physical demeanor can come off aggressive or defensive at times and that is not good. I have avoided several conflicts by changing my body language.”
Monica Northington, Freelance Makeup Artist
Choose your words wisely. “Positive or negative feedback should always be honest and delivered with respect. If the feedback process itself lacks integrity then employees will disengage.”
Bridget Sarikas, VP at Right Advisory LLC
Be solution oriented. “Listen a lot and always start with something positive. Try to offer a solution as well.”Carrie Curley, Owner, Curley Design Group
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For more great insights from Connect members, check out the discussion: What Techniques Do You Use To Give Someone Feedback?
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