Many people are afraid to give feedback or criticism, which is perfectly understandable.
How many times have you faced this situation and caught your breath?
Suddenly your words become confusing, what you were going to say became overbearing or too pleasant and not connected to the reality or truth which is the reason you were originally gathered in that situation, and all this, only for the fear that you will no longer be loved or create an irreparable antagonism.
Or, on the other hand, there are those people, who do not even prepare for this significant meeting, for the simple reason that they do not appreciate its great significance, and the effectiveness of it. They end up finding themselves throwing big, ineffective, unprejudiced, unprofessional and certainly unsuitable words for the person sitting in front of them, and even worse, the poor person sitting in front of them runs the risk of going on 2 very winding and unpleasant journeys:
A. The poor person leaves the meeting with a great sense of satisfaction because they were afraid to confront him, and the poor person leaves the meeting thinking that he is excellent / has nothing to improve / that his conduct is perfect and flawless.
B. The poor person emerges from the encounter humiliated, lacking motivation to continue, this is usually accompanied by low self-esteem and utter confusion.
Both of these outcomes are dangerous, believe it or not, these results have a definite impact on the lives of our short-term and long-term employees as well.
Well, was I able to convince you how much this tool (feedback) can be a blessing but easily turned into a curse too?
Do you realize that words have a lot of weight? That it's always better to take a brave but planned step? Excellent!
That's why it's also important to understand that we don't know everything - it's important to keep learning and opening our minds to different approaches, more tips and to continue doing it for the rest of our lives, and of course to pass the information to our employees!
Who is the person in front of me? / Get to Know the people that work for you –
Know who sits in front of you, especially before a feedback meeting, you should not think of even writing a word before you know him/her. If this does happen, and you do not know enough, the priority is to reject the feedback and not create an injustice that will take time to correct.
The most basic and first thing that will help you create an initial opinion is an in-depth interview, make sure you spend some time watching how your worker speaks, how he/she works in their department, pay attention to his/her relationships with the rest of the colleagues, the workers' general conduct, self-discipline, communication style and more.
Be sure to collect enough material for you and your worker and remember to document everything in a hidden notebook / folder - Remember, what is not written does not happen.
Do not abandon any detail – from personal to professional.
Positive dialogue at eye-level -
Always speak at eye-level, especially during feedback, make sure you create a relaxed and positive atmosphere (as much as possible), in order for the employee to feel open enough to receive and benefit from the meeting and to express themselves freely.
Pay attention to the language you use; it is important to use positive and encouraging language.
Choose the right timing -
Yes, timing is everything!
Be sure to give the feedback in a timely manner in terms of the employees' length of time at the company (at least three months), since you would have accumulated enough material as we mentioned in the first section.
Try to set The Feedback Meeting in the middle of the day, before lunch, so that both of you are attentive. Try not to set The Feedback Meeting at the end of the day, both sides will be exhausted and the feedback will not be effective.
Also, The Feedback Meeting should be 45 minutes and not a second more!
Give room for personal expression and informal conversations -
Give your workers a platform to express themselves personally, if your workers do not initiate this open communication, be courageous enough to initiate a conversation yourself. Ask for feedback on your feedback, on points you raised, let them express consent or disagreement. If you encourage open communication, the effectiveness of feedback will increase instantly.
Make The Feedback Meeting a podium to ask questions that usually cannot be answered due to the busy daily-routine where there is no space and time.
The Feedback Meeting is an important meeting that involves deep and emotional topics, take advantage of this moment to get to know your workers in depth, give them a stage for personal expression about their aspirations and goals, new ideas in their role, do not miss any topic.
Prove It With Experience -
Know how to provide examples from the field you specialize in - for any point of improvement or preservation you raise, attach a practical example, a situation in which you were present, a professional achievement.
Bring ideas and practical ways on how to progress the points of improvement - for every single point of improvement - try to get the person in front of you to come to a solution and if he or she does not succeed always have one in your back pocket to help him/her.
Be sure to make another copy of the feedback, one for you and one for the person you are having the feedback meeting with, it is very important that you follow along with each point and every word.
Be Certain from the First Moment -
Once you and your employee schedule The Feedback Meeting, inform your employee of every step that'll take place in the meeting and the expectations you have from him/her.
1. Ask your worker to prepare for The Feedback Meeting by writing down three points for retention and three points for improvement.
2. Ask them to write in a few words what their workplace experience is so far, from a social, personal and professional point of view.
3. Inform your worker that this is an opportunity for informal dialogue, bring-up personal feelings and, of course, the most welcome, ideas. (It is advisable to send a form and request it to be prepared prior to the meeting).
The Sandwich Method – 3 Steps to delivering information intelligently.
1. What you're doing right (strengths)
2. What you need to improve on (weaknesses)
3. Positive potential (strengths)
Each step explained:
1. always open The Feedback Meeting with points of retention (positive points), in order to encourage listening and cooperation, to prevent resistance from the get-go, so that the feedback becomes easier to digest.
2. Then proceed to the improvement points - elaborate and elucidate using clear examples. Avoid general judgments or accusations! Emphasize behaviors and not the nature of the recipient of the feedback.
3. End with a positive general impression, express genuine optimism and faith in your employee. Remember, every person deserves the opportunity to prove themselves and improve their behavior and performance.
It is important to be specific and accurate throughout all 3 stages, all the points we made should be clear and neutral words. Always be accurate with your words.
Feedback is an essential part of an employee's educational, professional and personal growth– it is important for each worker to have a written initiation program when being admitted by the direct manager of the employee. Keep in mind that the basis for a successful organization is to build the foundation in a thoughtful way. Part of the fundamental element of each business is your people, remember; any person that feels that they are being invested in, believed in and constantly challenged to grow, will "come to work" rather than "be a worker" - guess who benefits from it ?
Both sides! Isn't that amazing?
You will gain greater productivity, more loyalty and excellence from your employees and they will be more confident, full of meaningful achievements and of course a workplace where they just want to give a part of themselves!