get the message across, but, build a more cohesive and capable team as a result.
One of the core principles for business management success is to learning how to give and to receive constructive feedback. In our experience with business management consulting, we have found this key skill to be one of the most important for executive staff to master. Constructive feedback is the only way to learn and develop—both personally and professionally.
One of the most important aspects of business coaching for entrepreneurs is to help a new manager learn how to be part of the creative team, but to also take a leadership role in the team by using constructive feedback techniques in business management. That means, you as Manager, have a responsibility to your staff to help them develop through your constructive feedback on their performance.
What is constructive feedback?
First, I’ll tell you what it’s not.
Constructive feedback is not criticism (which has a negative connotation because it is so often generalized and personal).
Constructive feedback is a not personal (e.g. you are lazy), but a targeted response to an individual’s action or behavior (e.g. you did not accomplish the task you agreed to complete) that is intended to help them learn, and is delivered from a place of respect.
Constructive feedback is not “closed” but rather invites the individual receiving the feedback to shed light, share their perspective, or provide their response. (e. g. Do you see it differently?)
Constructive feedback does not blame, but presents a collaborative approach to problem-solving. (e.g. If we are all to go home tonight on time, task A needs to get done. What support can the team offer to finish task A, so that everyone gets to go home on time.)
Why constructive feedback works?
Constructive feedback enables you to give honest, “tough messages” to those with whom you work.
However, instead of insulting, shutting-down others, or alienating those who receive the feedback, and thus lowering their morale and their resulting productivity, it motivates them to ask for help, and acknowledge a skill or competency deficiency, while feeling supported and respected.
Two of the most important factors influencing employee retention/satisfaction are: 1.Giving corrective feedback in time for the employee to correct mistakes and 2. Delivering the message in a respectful and encouraging manner. Constructive feedback, because it is delivered out of respect and a genuine desire for the individual to improve, accomplishes both.
Principles of feedback:
1. Choose correct timing for feedback Praise is most effective when given as soon as possible after the behavior has occurred. Immediate feedback will help to reinforce a correct behavior and make it more likely to happen again.
2. Ask for self assessment Beginning by asking the person for self-assessment gives them an opportunity to be personally involved in the feedback process. It helps to promote an open atmosphere and dialogue between the person doing the coaching and the person being coached. Often the person is well aware of his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Through self-assessment, the person can gradually assume more responsibility for his or her own abilities and performance.
3. Focus on specifics When you focus on a specific correct or incorrect behavior, you remove the feedback from the sphere of personality differences and the other person will be more willing and able to change. For example, when providing corrective feedback: Do: “When you were talking to customer xyz, I noticed that you forgot to use her name” Don’t: “You are not building rapport with the customer”
4. Limit feedback to a few important points Good coaches and communicators identify one or two critical areas and help the person address them one at a time. It is too hard to examine and try to change many aspects of behavior at one time. Restrict your feedback to one or two important points so that you do not overwhelm the other person with too many things to consider.
5. Provide more praise than corrective feedback Positive reinforcement is one of the strongest factors in bringing about change. When you give corrective feedback, remember to point out corrective behaviors first. This is as important as pointing out mistakes and areas that need improvement. And always end the conversation on a positive note.
6. Give praise for expected performance People deserve to be praised for doing their job to the expected level. However, too many people take the expected level for granted. Remember that praising anyone who meets established standards is as important as praising the exceptional performer. Praise is a strong motivator, and enough praise may be what it takes to turn an average employee into an exceptional one. 7. Develop Action Plans Work together to identify the desired performance or result and how it can be achieved. Decide when the steps will be accomplished and always create timeline to check in on milestones and steps to success.