Synergy Personal Development

January 30, 2023 by John Cunningham

Giving feedback is an opportunity to help others improve. It doesn’t matter if the person has done a wonderful or not-so-wonderful job. Providing honest and sincere feedback helps the other person understand what they are doing right, what needs to be corrected, and how to develop. Here are five ways to give effective feedback.

Praise in public, correct in private.

Most people like to receive feedback for a job well done. Acknowledgement can be a powerful thing. Praising good work in public is an opportunity to recognize your colleague’s performance and give them an ego boost as well.

In contrast you should give corrective feedback in private. This type of discussion is often met with disagreement, hurt feelings, or dismissiveness. None of those are pretty. Better not to put these types of responses on public display.

There is no failure. Only feedback.

Robert Allen

Talk about behavior

It is the behavior that is good or needs correction. When you focus on the what they did, you reduce the need for the other person to defend themself. That should help to find a solution you can both agree on. Also, discussing the exact behavior leaves little space for blame, assumptions, or more subjective aspects of the critique.

Be specific

It is essential to be specific in your assessment. That helps the other person understand the problem and rectify it, or to keep doing the what is getting praised. When giving specific feedback, it is easier for the listener to understand the point precisely.

Fred, when you arrive early to meetings, it sets a good example and people are ready to start on time. Thank you.

Effective feedback model

Confirm understanding

Feedback is no good if the other person forgets it the minute they are out of sight. Have them repeat the key points as you wind up the discussion. Then you can both agree on an action plan if necessary.

So, Mary, how could you avoid this kind of mistake in the future?

Confirming corrective feedback

Say Thank You.

The other person gave you their time and attention. Thank them for that as a sign of respect.

Giving authentic feedback by praising in public and correcting in private, focusing on behavior, being specific, confirming understanding and saying than you will enhance others’ trust in you.

That help both of you get favorable results, and lets others know you care about their development.