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feedback  ✺  evaluation  ✺  management  ✺  leadership  ✺  constructivefeedback

Feedback is crucial when it comes to professional development. Without it, it’s difficult to make strides and improve performance, and how you give it is critical to making that type of progress. Giving and receiving feedback can be difficult. That’s only natural, especially if things like miscommunication or timing are at play.

I’ve found the following to be the most helpful when giving feedback:

1️⃣ Be timely. When you postpone giving feedback, doing so diminishes that employee’s importance and makes it nearly impossible for them to promptly improve their performance.

2️⃣ Provide specific examples of where an employee needs to improve or change their way of doing things and be prepared to offer a thorough explanation of what needs to change. This way, all parties involved have a clear understanding of expectations.

3️⃣ Provide nuance in your feedback. Vagueness can leave an employee feeling helpless and cause them to become defensive. Your feedback should include clear points when it comes to why the behavior is an issue, how much/big of an issue it is, and proposed means to address it.

4️⃣ Be able to clearly illustrate the impact the issue is causing. If you can show the ripple effect of the action, they’ll be far more likely to take steps to address it.

5️⃣ Feedback is only effective when it’s actionable, so provide an action plan to address the problem. Get rid of any vagueness and provide measurable goals as well as an outline of steps that both parties should take within a specific timeframe. The SMART goal-setting framework is a good reference on this topic.

6️⃣ Write it down and send out the feedback post meeting. Writing it down helps improve your clarity of thought and sending it out post meeting ensures common understanding across all points covered verbally.

If you’re looking to improve on the feedback you provide, the feedback-driven management philosophy that Kim Scott highlights in Radical Candor is a great source of inspiration.

What have you found works best when giving constructive feedback?