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There is an Art to Giving Effective Performance Feedback to Team Members 

In the previous blog post on why new managers and supervisors are not comfortable about giving performance feedback, I wrote about how frustrating the current feedback process is.

Three things need to change to make you feedback resonate with team members. The first is your mindset. The other two are the key components of effective feedback.

Mindset Change

Providing effective feedback requires a mindset change. First, you have to believe that the purpose of performance feedback is to build confidence and capability in team members by:

  • Reinforcing actions or behaviors that a person is doing well so that they will do so more often or in other circumstances.
  • Helping them find ways to change behaviors that are having a negative impact in the workplace.
  • Helping them identify and implement ways to improve performance, enhance current skills, and increase self-confidence.

There is nothing negative about these three intentions. So delete the phrase “negative feedback” from your vocabulary and thoughts. Thinking that you are going to give someone negative feedback only serves to make you uncomfortable and hesitant. There is nothing negative if your intention is to help the person improve.

Specific. Actionable.

The two key elements of effective feedback, which are surprisingly missing in so much workplace feedback, are specific and actionable.

You must be very specific about the behaviors or actions that are being done well or that need improving. This is true for both Fortifying Feedback (reinforcing) and Enhancement Feedback (developmental).

While telling someone, “nice job on that presentation yesterday” might make the other person feel all warm and fuzzy inside, this type of feedback is neither specific nor actionable. However, if you tell them, “nice job on that presentation yesterday, I really liked the way you handled the questions from the audience by using data,” you build confidence in that person’s competency in question handling. And they are more likely to have appropriate data in hand for answering questions at their next presentation.

The Art of Effective Feedback

To learn more about how to provide effective feedback, join my workshop The Art of Effective Feedback, on January 21st at 2pm (Central USA time). This 50-minute workshop ($75) will provide you with a proven, best-practice model for delivering both Fortifying Feedback (aka positive, reinforcing) and Enhancement Feedback (aka developmental, negative).

Go to this The Art of Effective Feedback page to register for the workshop. Hurry, space is limited to only 100 attendees.

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