As a business owner, leader or manager, feedback is an important tool for improvement and growth of both your staff and business. But it is a delicate process and if done incorrectly can have the opposite, negative effect by fostering anxiety, defensiveness, demotivation and resentment. So how do you do it properly to get the most?
- Create safety. Studies show that employees only implement 1/3rd of the feedback they receive. If the person feels uncomfortable when receiving the feedback they will implement even less. You don’t need a buddy relationship to give feedback, but it does help to make them feel safe. Don’t say something that will make the other person feel bad or look foolish in front of colleagues.
- Be positive. People mess up; it’s a fact of life. So when giving feedback, balance the negative with the positive. Positive feedback lights up the reward centre in the brain, making the individual want to keep doing what they’re doing right. Don’t avoid negative or corrective feedback altogether though, just follow through with suggestive solutions or outcomes to help modify their behaviour.
- Be tough, not mean. When someone drops the ball, hold them accountable but also get their perspective of what happened. No matter how stupid their actions, don’t say so – people have a habit of becoming what they’re labeled.