If you are managing a team, talking to your boss, counseling someone or teaching individuals, you will understand that giving feedback is an excellent tool in communication. Feedback helps you work on your mistakes and boost your confidence. It also is a major factor in anyone’s success.
When you plan to give feedback, do it constructively.
Seth Godin in this article How to Give Good Feedback, gives four rules of giving feedback.
1. No one cares about your opinion.
2. Say the right thing at the right time.
3. If you have something nice to say, please say it.
4. Give me feedback, no matter what.
What’s the difference between criticizing someone and giving feedback?
Criticism is a way to put blame on another person. Good feedback helps the listener to correct his mistakes and learn from it. Criticism is often related to a person.
Good feedback should be short, precise and in a positive tone. Positive feedback is—“I find that the party was well organized”. Criticism is—“you are not good at organizing parties”.
When you give positive feedback, really mean it. For example-“ Hey Sam, your wonderful analysis made our tasks easier and saved ten hours, thank you”. Sam is happy now and knows what to do next time. Did you see what your sincere and specific feedback did?
It can BOOST the listener’s morale.
BOOST model of giving feedback:
Your feedback should be balanced. When you give a negative feedback, offer twice positive feedback. People remember only negative feedback and then they focus on only negative feedback. So, balance your feedback. Get the person to think over his weak and strong areas.
Focus on objective things, do not target individuals. Focus on behavior and not on individual personality or attitude. Do not be judgmental and rather concentrate on what the listener can do and the areas to improve upon. Make sure your feedback is about what the person has done or is doing and not about who he is.
Give feedback based on your observation. Use Here and now approach for this. Do not base your feedback on future expectations, hearsay or performance bias. Use statements like “I observed that….” and not “ You are stupid….”. Communicate what you observed about other person’s behavior.
Be specific and selective. Give only one or two examples to support your statements. Too many examples will dilute the subject and the person will lose interest or become defensive. Don’t give generalized feedback. Do not say “ You are a fool……”, instead of say “ When you do that thing………..”.
You should give feedback at the right time, that means after you experience that event. You can give constructive suggestions on what can be done if such situation arises again. Discuss the feedback with the listener, don’t just give feedback and disappear. Timely feedback allows the listener to work on it immediately.
Using Sandwich structure to give feedback
You can use Sandwich structure to give feedback.
1. First slice of bread: First say the good things about the person’s performance
2. Filling: The areas of improvement for the listener.
3. Give positive feedback. Say what was good about the person’s performance.
This article, how to give good feedback will help you stand out.