By Katie Roth

One of the most important parts of any manager’s role is shaping the team they lead. This will invariably mean providing feedback to the team, whether positive or constructive. Feedback is critical to course-correct pressing issues while building cohesion in the workplace. What is just as critical, however, is the delivery and content of the feedback. RC Search Group has gathered some good guidelines to follow when constructing feedback. Above all, remember that feedback is best given fresh – meaning as soon as possible after the inciting incident.

  • Avoid Generalizations
    • One easy pitfall when giving feedback is staying too general. Homing in on a specific behavior strengthens what you are saying while increasing relevancy to the team member. Things like overall attitude and performance should be saved for longer-term meetings like a performance review. Great feedback starts by describing the event. “You handled the objection about our price point wonderfully” or “Points B & C of your presentation directly contradict each other.”
  • Address the Impact
    • A teammates actions, whether positive or negative, affect both their managers and the organization at large. Start by sharing your feelings that lead you to give the feedback. Approval, curiosity, disappointment, confusion, anger, excitement might all prompt your conversation. Then pair it with the broader impact to the team’s mission and output. “Get back on the phones” won’t go nearly as far as, “I’m a little upset by the amount of time you have been spending off the phones. Your teammates are picking up slack and its preventing them from doing their jobs effectively. We’re an organization built on putting the other person first and I need you to contribute to that.”
  • Outline Your Expectations
    • The final part of good feedback is providing a path for the employee to follow. This is easy with positive feedback, “Thank you, please feel free to step up like this any time in the future.” Constructive feedback might require outlining further consequences if the targeted action or behavior continues. Since you have already addressed the impact, it is much easier to define a specific consequence for the action in question.
Vaughan, Ken. “’Tell Me How I’m Doing’: The 3 Elements of Effective Feedback.” Industry Week, 8 Dec. 2020, www.industryweek.com/talent/engagement/article/21149831/tell-me-how-im-doing-the-3-elements-of-effective-feedback.

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