Of all the management disciplines we work on with our delegates, giving feedback comes out consistently as a ‘management essential’.
Giving Feedback. Our direct experience shows us that there are few organisations that have a truly open ‘feedback culture’. Most however recognise that this as a place they aspire to be.
The majority of business people we have worked with over the years report that they would like and need more feedback. The irony is though that many accept that they don’t give it to others nearly enough. Equally, most people we find rarely ask for it themselves.
Whilst there are of course some shining examples of those who both give and receive it well, many people in business appear to be on a ‘starvation diet’ of good quality feedback.
What types of feedback are there?
The ability and willingness of people managers to give feedback effectively can be truly transformational. This skill alone can set a person apart from their peers in a way that many other competencies cannot.
There are in simple terms, two types of feedback:
- Positive feedback or praise
- Corrective or improvement based feedback
Both are essential, and whilst the principles of giving them are the same, the reasons to give them are very different.
Giving positive or corrective feedback
In essence, positive feedback should be given to encourage and to recognise effort or performance in some way. It is designed to improve the person’s confidence and feeling of value, and to encourage them to repeat their action.
Corrective feedback should be given to make the recipient aware of an action, behaviour or outcome that must change or improve. Often people are aware of the feedback you might give, but they either don’t want to or have been unable to change it.
Equally often though, people are simply not aware of it and the impact it is having, and this is what we call their ‘blind spot’.
Giving messages to people that are essentially critical is difficult for most people. As a result, leaders, managers and team members often just a turn blind eye, don’t give the feedback and try to manage their frustration.
Alternatively, they give it a go, often for the wrong reasons, and do it badly, often making the situation worse.
The impact of not giving either positive or corrective feedback, or giving it badly can be deep and wide for the individuals, teams and the organisation. Essentially though it often demotivates, disables and impacts on a person’s feeling of value.
It stunts their growth and development and often leaves people in a ‘blind spot’ with no idea of how they are doing. This can easily lead to all sorts of issues, and many of them with direct financial impacts.
So what’s the solution?
Well, there is no one solution, but in its simplest form, the solution is to agree to ‘talk more openly’. Even two people feeling comfortable to hear the other person’s view of how they are each perceived is a great start.
There are of course powerful techniques and skills which can be learned and practised, so any of us can become really effective at giving feedback.
There is though one critical principle and starting point that most are not aware of, and this is……
“You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge…”
This means that if you are going to give somebody a piece of corrective feedback, then you must focus first on getting them to acknowledge it to be valid and an accurate reflection of the situation.
If you don’t, the recipient will simply pay ‘lip service’ to the message, or even refuse to accept it. This will result in no change, and potentially a worse relationship with the giver than if nothing had been said.
If they acknowledge it, then you can then discuss and agree with them what they will do to change or improve whatever it is.
So how can PDW Group help to transform your people at giving feedback?
We have a proven and unique way of transforming the confidence and capability of thousands of people in giving effective feedback.
Investing in a highly personalised workshop or programme will make genuine strides for your people. It will transform their confidence & capability in tackling even the most challenging of giving feedback conversations.
We will ensure they have some ‘light bulb moments’. We will get them to ‘flick the switch’ in their heads about what feedback is all about. This is when we can then help them to do a great job of giving feedback.
Put simply, this will add real value to others in the workplace, and will help to transform your business and financial performance.