Finding an approach that represents you and does not feel useless is sometimes complex . On one side, there is the feedback giver who wants the feedback to encourage the person to deliver a specific outcome or a new behavior. On the other side, there is the feedback receiver who may feel attacked because the comments may mean that he is not “good enough” or the feedback do not support him to improve his work. Feedback sessions can be an highly emotional moment when both participants come with some kind of angst. Giving and receiving feedback is hard when we focus on the “potential negative reactions”. One key to success is to always focus on facts that can be observed from both sides.
Let’s concentrate on how to give “negative” feedback in this article. You should always give positive and negative feedback in order to balance the discussion. I cannot believe this person is doing it all wrong!
A good feedback to see a change is a Fact feedback.
Do not give feedback, give feed-forwards.
Steps to prepare for a feed-forward session
A leader that I know writes his observation on post-it and keep them all in a personal folder. He opens it few weeks before the meeting in order to clarify what the employee will need during the feed-forward session.
- List positive behavior you observed. Use examples to back up your list.
- List new behavior that the person should start showing up. Use examples to back up your list.
- List undesired behavior that the person should stop. Use facts and example to back up your list.
Prepare for the meeting:
Are you sure that your suggestions as backed up with facts? Avoid being judgmental because it will not help the person grow. We grow when we believe we can learn more not when we think we are going to fail.
- Prioritize the list of behavior and create a list of things you want to discuss with the employee. Everything you observed may not need to be discussed.
- Make sure you are talking about specific facts and please, not alternative facts 😉
- Do not make it personal. Do not attack the person.
Lead the meeting using facts to support your argumentation
- Explain that the aim of the meeting is to help the person develop itself and become better at what they do
- Describe the positive behavior that you appreciate.
- Describe the new behavior that will help improve his / her work and give examples of how the person could implement it in the daily business.
- Describe the behavior that you think the person should not have anymore and explain why.
After the meeting: FOLLOW UP!
I hope you enjoyed this article and please share it with people who may need it or find it interesting.