Monday, April 23, 2012

Feedback - An Essential Leadership Skill

Feedback is a critical skill for supervisors, managers, I would also say team members. As important as it is so many professionals continue to be very uncomfortable with both providing feedback, and sometimes even in receiving feedback.

If you are providing feedback to another, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:

1. Be specific. Telling someone they did a "great job" without providing specifics is not very useful. Provide examples of when they did a "great job" - what did they do, when, where etc. Provide detail on what you noticed, not what you assumed.

2. Provide feedback that is meaningful. Feedback should be relevant and important to us, or our work. Have a conversation about what type of feedback your colleagues are looking for, what's important in their work, or with their priorities. What type of feedback is meaningful for each person you work with?

3. Provide feedback at an appropriate time. The timing of feedback is also important. Is the person open to receiving feedback? Is it an appropriate time, or location?   When feedback is delivered is also important. When would be the most appropriate time to provide feedback?

4. Provide feedback on an ongoing basis - Feedback is most useful when it relates to events that just happened. So many times feedback is only provided when it is performance review time. Feedback about something that happened six months is not as useful as having a discussion about something that happened today. 
How do you want to provide more regular feedback?

There are several different models out there for providing feedback including the "sandwich technique" and the SBI model.

Many of you may be familiar with the "sandwich technique" of starting and ending on the positive of what you have noticed, and providing the constructive feedback in the middle.

The SBI model was developed by the Center for Creative Leadership and is an acronym to focus on the Situation, Behavior and Impact. Read more about the SBI model here.

In closing, what changes do you want to make with respect to providing feedback?

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton
Author of Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010)
Potentials Realized
Performance | Leadership | Teamwork

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