Feedback: How to provide it without offending anyone?

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Providing feedback: How to do it right?


Providing feedback to your colleagues and employees require a certain level of subtlety and insight. Both positive and negative aspects of their performance need to be discussed during the session. Often, but the word “feedback” invokes fear and anxiety. If the methods are not right, it can well translate into something unpleasant and they will turn defensive. Also, most often, people perceive that the feedback provider is superior to the one receiving the feedback. This is not true, because in 360° performance review managerial effectiveness are measured from the feedbacks provided by people working under the manager.


Feedback: The right steps to do it


Understanding the value addition, feedbacks help identify issues and the ways to solve them. It should be handle in the most empathetic and positive way.


Below are five tips that can help you to provide productive feedback:


    • Make feel safe:Fear and anxiety will make the feedback fall into deaf ears. Studies have shown that most of the feedbacks are applied only 30%. Thus, the feedbacks are ineffective and unproductive. It is important for both the people the provider and receiver to come up to a certain comfort level before they start with the process. Make sure that you don’t make the other person feel foolish or crummy. Focus on building confidence and skills. Make it an effective way to identify areas of improvement.


    • Be positive:Provide both negative and positive feedbacks. Positive feedback will acknowledge the contribution made by the person, and opening them up for new directions. Negative feedback somewhat trigger a threat response indicating that some kind of adjustment needs to be made the way a person if functioning. In order to avoid conflict and threat make sure to come up with suggestion and solutions that will help overcome the shortcomings.


    • Be specific:Always be specific about what you are talking about. People do not understand when you beat around the bush. Remove ambiguity from your conversation. Provide clear and specific points that a person can understand and work upon.


    • Be immediate.Provide feedbacks for the recent events only. Don’t wait until three months or for an appropriate time. Because human forgets and if not caught in action they will not remember.  Productive feedbacks should be frequent and more recent.


    • Be tough, not mean:When someone makes a mistake, don’t nag them. Ask their perspective of why they did what they did.  Ask them if they truly understand what is expected from them. And offer help in case they need it. Always resist making the person feel stupid or foolish for his or her action. People become what we encourage them to become and not what we force them to.


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