The Best Way to Deliver Critical Feedback

The Best Way to Deliver Critical Feedback

If you are a manager, you’ve had to deliver messages that are less than favorable to individuals or your team. At its core, feedback should improve performance, and you should carry that in the front of your mind as you get ready to have the conversation.

The iLoveFeedback® best practice model is built on five proven steps to deliver feedback that prompts change and also reinforces positive behavior. Here, let’s focus on some general tips to consider as you are providing the feedback message.

Begin with the End in Mind

Delivering the message is just the means to an end.  Start with your end goal in the front of your mind and proceed from there.  You want your employees to leave the meeting knowing where they have fallen short but also how they can improve. It would be best if you also conveyed your trust in them being able to rebound. Include your advice and guidance about the next steps, too. Let them know that you are just as invested in their success as they are. Yes, there will be a few tense moments, but if you are continually moving to the positive end, you’ll find yourself and your employee there in no time.

Keep the Emotion and the Personal Out of It

You know it’s not about the person; it’s about their performance and possibly their actions or behaviors.  Focus on that and keep the personal out of it as much as you can.  If you feel your employee adopting a defensive attitude, steer the conversation back to the job, task, or process where you can offer specific and observable examples of the needed improvement.  If you don’t think you can count on another’s emotional IQ, then you might have to kick yours into overdrive.

Emotions can run high for those who are hearing some less than positive notes from a supervisor.  In a perfect world, we would be able to deliver this message and have it heard constructively and positively.  But, in the real world, this isn’t always the case.  If all else fails, you might want to consider taking a break and coming back to it or including someone from your HR team to help you stay on track.

Follow Up

Before you come to the end of your feedback, make sure you have some solid goals and dates set.  Follow up is an essential piece of the puzzle for accountability and change.  You can’t end the session without concrete next steps for you and the person receiving the feedback.  You’ve addressed the problem, now pave the way for improvement. Start incorporating regular feedback sessions, and with a little time and effort, you and your team will not only be back on track but better than ever.

Stop dreading feedback and reviews.  Embrace this opportunity to connect with your team, build trust and confidence, and engage on a new level. Feedback, when done regularly and correctly, can be transformative to you, your staff, and the entire organization.

If you find yourself in the business of giving or receiving feedback, we’d love to help.  You can sign up to receive updates in your inbox here, learn more from our website, or get in touch for more information to suit your specific needs.