Feedback is a powerful tool that can be used to improve performance, establish relationships, and create trust between people. When feedback is used the right way, it can help to create a positive and productive environment in which individuals can learn, grow, and ultimately be successful. In this Whiteboard Friday, we explore how to effectively use feedback in order to maximize its power and harness it to its fullest potential.
When giving feedback, make sure to provide specific examples and reference the behavior or attitude that you’d like to see different. Vague advice can be difficult for the receiver to distinguish the action that needs to be improved. It’s important to explain what exactly needs to be changed and why; Doing this will make it much easier for the receiver to actually change their behavior.
Follow the Sandwich Method
The sandwich method is an often used way of delivering feedback. This method looks something like this:
- Start with a positive.
- Continue with constructive criticism.
- End with a positive.
Starting off the feedback with a positive helps to build a trusting relationship between the invididuals and the receiver feels more comfortable and willing to accept the feedback. Ending with a positive also reinforces the idea that their is room for improvement and that the receiver is capable of making such progress.
Stay Calm & Focused
Whenever giving feedback, it’s important to remain calm and focused on the area(s) of improvement. If a person receives criticism personal and it becomes emotional, then this can damage their morale and make it difficult for them to take in the feedback. The best way to ensure that the receiver takes in the feedback and changes their behavior is to give it in a constructive and professional manner.
Be Mindful of Your Tone
Tone is an essential element of communication and can profoundly impact how individuals receive feedback. Try to use a professional and warm tone that encourages the receiver to think positively and constructively. Avoid aggressive and authoritative tones, as these can make the individual feel overwhelmed and make it more difficult for them to process the feedback.
Feedback can be a powerful way to develop performance, foster relationships, and create trust between individuals. To ensure that feedback is as effective as possible, it’s important to stay specific, use the sandwich method, stay calm and focused, and be mindful of our tone. Harnessing the power of feedback can help create a more positive, productive, and successful environment for all.