How to Provide Feedback

How to Provide Feedback

It can be a bit daunting as a leader when an employee in your organisation has made a mistake, and you have to sit them down to have a private conversation and provide feedback. Most leaders find it quite difficult to provide feedback as some people don’t take criticism well, and a conversation like this could well drive a wedge in the relationship between the leader and the employee. As hard as it is, if done correctly, providing feedback will help the other person reflect on their performance and be made aware of opportunities to improve.


In all honesty, providing a feedback can be hard because you have no idea what the other person’s reaction will be, but to help you out.


Here are 6 tips on how to provide constructive feedback: 

Change the environment. Stepping out of the office and going to a nearby café will definitely set the tone and mood. Changing the environment will help the other person feel that you are approachable therefore, they open up more when you start talking about the issue.


Do a temperature check. People sometimes make mistakes because of other issues that are affecting them. Are they happy at work? Are they happy with the people around them? Are they happy with you? Are they happy with their life in general? Are they going through an emotional breakdown? To know their mental and emotional state will also greatly help you when delivering the feedback, because the empathy will then be present. This will also help the other person know that you are not there just to reprimand but also to listen and understand.


Offer solutions, don’t focus on the problems. Many leaders that I’ve seen so far, always talk and dance around the issue, rather than getting to the point, and then finding a solution. Making the other person guilty or blamed won’t help them receive the feedback you are giving. Offering to help and showing them solutions, shows that you are there to help and not to judge.


Be Silent. Never underestimate silence because silence is a powerful tool! After providing feedback, allow yourself to pause and have the other person think about what you’ve said. Being quiet is also a signal for them to discuss the matter further and that you are willing to listen.


Create goals together. After talking about the solution, start creating goals. Read up on my article on how to create SMART goals. These goals have to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound. Yes, you have made the mood like it’s a casual conversation but to be able to create goals will set the impression that it is a serious matter and it has an impact on the business.


Follow Through. After providing the feedback, don’t leave it as a one-time conversation. An effective feedback will not be effective if it is not followed through. Unfortunately, this happens a lot in a corporate setting. Following though after the feedback session will help the other person stay on track and helps avoid the same mistake twice.


If you are a leader and you feel like this is one of your soft spots, try to practice it with another person prior to giving the feedback. If you think that you need help in this area of your leadership, send me a message. I’d like to help you make this process be one of your strengths and not just a daunting task.


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