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National Giving Feedback Day

Updated: Jan 20

Today, as we celebrate National Giving Feedback Day, let's explore the subtle art of giving feedback. Feedback is very simple in theory, yet quite complicated in practice, which is perhaps why so many people avoid it or get it wrong. Many managers find it challenging, but it's a skill that can be honed.


Why Feedback Matters


Feedback is the compass that guides personal and professional growth. It's not just about pointing out what went wrong; it's about illuminating the path to improvement. Here's why feedback is a game-changer:


  1. Performance Improvement: Constructive feedback helps individuals understand their strengths and areas for improvement. It paves the way for enhanced performance.

  2. Clarity and Direction: It provides clarity on expectations, ensuring that everyone is aligned with organizational goals.

  3. Employee Engagement: Regular feedback shows that you care about your team's development, fostering engagement and motivation.

  4. Conflict Resolution: It can address conflicts and misunderstandings before they escalate.

  5. Learning Culture: In a culture of feedback, learning becomes continuous, driving innovation and growth.


The Consequences of Avoiding Feedback


We all know the consequences of NOT giving feedback... Imagine a team where one member, let's call him John, consistently fails to meet deadlines. His manager, Amir, notices this pattern but hesitates to address it directly hoping that things will improve all on their own. BUT as a result:


  • Missed Opportunities: John's performance issues continue to affect the team's productivity. Important deadlines are consistently missed, and the quality of work suffers.

  • Growing Frustration: Other team members become frustrated with the situation. They're left to pick up the slack, leading to resentment and reduced morale.

  • Tension Escalates: What could have been a simple feedback conversation between Amir and John has now escalated into a tense work environment. The team's dynamics are strained.


If Amir had provided John with constructive feedback early on:

  • Improved Performance: John would have had a clear understanding of his performance issues and the impact on the team. With guidance, he could have improved his time management skills.

  • Team Collaboration: By addressing the issue promptly, Amir could have prevented frustration among team members and maintained a harmonious working atmosphere.

  • Stronger Relationships: The feedback conversation could have strengthened the manager-employee relationship, fostering trust and open communication.


In essence, a short period of discomfort for both parties could have transformed a deteriorating situation into an opportunity for growth and improvement. As a result, feedback is perhaps the number 1 skill that EVERYONE in organisations need to learn to maximise performance.



Woman looking sad
“In the absence of feedback, people will fill in the blanks with a negative. They will assume you don’t care about them or don’t like them.” – Pat Summit


The Challenges of Giving Feedback

So if the benefits are so obvious and far-reaching, why do people find giving feedback so challenging? Here are some common obstacles:


  1. Fear of Conflict: Many hesitate to give feedback because they fear it might lead to conflicts or hurt feelings.

  2. Lack of Skill: Not everyone knows how to provide feedback effectively. It's a skill that needs to be developed.

  3. Misunderstandings: Sometimes, feedback can be misinterpreted, leading to misunderstandings.

  4. Time Constraints: Managers often feel they don't have time for feedback, especially in today's fast-paced work environment.

  5. Uncertainty: Uncertainty about how to structure and deliver feedback can hold people back.


5 Easy Tips to Get Started


Here are 5 practical tips that are explored in our ready-written training session that you can use to help deliver effective feedback:


1. Be Specific and Timely

  • Offer feedback as close to the observed behaviour or event as possible.

  • Be specific about what you're addressing. Vague feedback isn't helpful.

2. Focus on Behaviour, Not Personality

  • Feedback should address actions and behaviours, not personalities or character traits.

  • Use the "I" statements to express your perspective without sounding judgmental.

3. Use the BOOST Model

  • Balance: Find the right balance between positive and constructive feedback.

  • Observed: Base your feedback on observable behaviours and facts.

  • Objective: Keep your feedback objective and free from personal bias.

  • Specific: Provide specific examples to illustrate your points.

  • Timely: Deliver feedback in a timely manner for maximum impact.

4. Encourage Two-Way Communication

  • Create an open and safe environment for feedback to flow in both directions.

  • Encourage employees to share their perspectives and concerns.

5. Offer Solutions and Support

  • When addressing areas for improvement, suggest concrete solutions or strategies for growth.

  • Offer support and resources to help individuals work on their development areas.


And to mark National Giving Feedback day, why not purchase our ready-written training materials to run a bite-size session on Giving Effective Feedback and Having Difficult Conversations Modules?


Remember!


Feedback isn't just a routine task; it's a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. While it can be challenging, it's a skill that can be developed with practice. By being specific, objective, and timely, focusing on behaviours, and creating an open environment, people can build stronger relationships, improve employee engagement and deliver better results for their business.



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