Follow these 5 steps to give meaningful feedback
Feedback is a gift. But giving meaningful feedback is not always easy and needs to be thought through carefully to achieve its full power. The following 5 steps will help you improve your feedback and help others in their development.
Step 1 - Be honest
Receiving feedback can be difficult, but people usually want to hear the truth about themselves. Give praise where praise is due, but don’t be afraid also to tell your colleague or friend how they can do better. Studies show that people generally find critical feedback more useful than praise.
Step 2 - Focus on observations
Base your feedback on what you have observed, not on speculation or what others have said. Focus more on the person’s behavior, and less on personality.
Step 3 - Be specific
If your feedback is precise and detailed, the recipient can act on it more easily. When giving feedback on someone’s behavior, describe what the behavior is like and how it has a positive or negative impact.
Step 4 - Make suggestions
Feedback recipients want to know how you think they can improve. Tell them not only what but also how they can do better. Perhaps suggest experiments or ways they can try out new behavior.
Step 5 - Add value
The goal of giving feedback is to help someone develop. Present someone’s shortcoming not as a hurdle but as an opportunity for growth. Be realistic but positive. If you think your comment could be hurtful without being useful, leave it out.