Feedback is like a Check Engine Light for your Team
Your car has a check engine light. Your Dentist sends you a "how did I do" note. A restaurant will encourage you to fill out a comment card. Feedback is all around us. Every day we are receiving messages from others asking us for our opinion. Don't deaden your senses to your team that might be asking you for advice and feedback in more subtle ways. What you have to say matters and your team needs to hear from you. However, how do you make feedback a regular part of your workplace, and how can you make it favorable for all involved?
iLoveFeedback® offers an excellent playbook for getting the most effective messages to your team while also keeping yourself open. Feedback is not a lecture, but a give and take that requires preparation and thoughtful reflection. Before your next employee review, take some time to hone your feedback skills.
"Find your Zone"
Before you can even think about giving (and getting) feedback, you should get in the right frame of mind. Feedback is always best when it comes from a positive place. Get your head in the right space and think about how you can frame your messages to be best received.
Define your Messages and Goals
Decide what is useful feedback and what isn't. It's also a good idea to have a clear picture of what you hope to achieve with feedback. Are you looking for ways to improve? Do you need to deliver a corrective message? Feedback should never be used to punish; it is always meant to be positive and productive for both parties.
Craft your Messages
How you deliver a message is often just as important as the actual message. Especially if you have a message that offers a correction. Nobody likes to give bad news but don't let that be an excuse to be intimidated by the conversation. Practice these messages, so they offer a chance for change and growth rather than a 'tsk tsk' to a team member.
Deliver your Feedback
If you've taken time to prepare, this should be easy and even enjoyable. Keep your messages "specific, realistic, and timely." Also, you may want to adjust your style to suit the person you are with. This could make all the difference in how a message is received. Most of all, be honest and professional.
Encourage, Energize and End Well
Make sure you can end the feedback session on a positive note. This might make a difference in future performance as well as follow-through. If there are any action items for either party, make sure to review those and have clear expectations for the future. It might be worth your time to make any additional notes now while the feedback is fresh in your mind, too.
With some preparation and forethought, you can make feedback enjoyable and rewarding for all. As more and more employees are seeking constructive messages about their performance, this is something that has a permanent home in the workplace. Learn how to make feedback better at your workplace, and you will reap the rewards with your organization and your team.
When communication channels run strong employees feel supported, bring new ideas to the table and are open to new challenges. Teams flourish and working relationships thrive in open dialogue cultures.
Candid feedback drives effective communication efforts and sets a positive tone for cultural and organizational growth, pivotal for ongoing improvement and encouraging new ideas. Feedback is about support, and a supported work environment breeds positive changes and dynamic employees.
Reach out to us at iLove Feedback here for resources and advice for you and your team!
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