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How to ensure that your feedback is heard

By | David Klaasen | Helping You Create Clarity, Inspire Your People & Drive Performance | Retain your best people | Changing Management Mindsets and Behaviour | Practical Behaviour Analytics

Giving effective feedback to an underperforming team member is a key skill for any manager and yet it is still frequently misunderstood. The latest research in neuroscience is shedding some light on how we can improve the impact of our feedback and turn performance around.

Feedback is very similar to motivation in that it is very individual.  Some people like their feedback frank and to the point others need a more encouraging approach or else they will become overwhelmed with a cocktail of nasty neurochemicals. Some people only need a quiet word while others need to have the consequences of not changing laid out in no uncertain terms. In fact some people need to go through the disciplinary procedure before they understand that there is a need to change.

Back to basics

There is a lot more going on at an unconscious level and that can make a huge difference to the impact your feedback will have, but there is no harm in being reminded about the basics of delivering effective feedback when expectations or standards are not being met:

1 – Be prompt; if feedback needs to be given do it as soon as possible so it is relevant and the underperformance is still fresh in mind.

2 – Be clear and concise about what you want to say;

– Clearly state the performance that is below standard – be very specific and factual.

– Explain the impact it is having on the business.

– Describe the desired results you want – again be very specific.

3 – Focus on the performance or behaviour – not the person or personality; report what you are seeing, hearing or feeling and avoid unhelpful personal judgements like “you are lazy” or ambiguous statements like “your performance is not good enough”.

4 – Own the feedback; use ‘I’ statements to show that this is about your own perceptions, impressions and what you think.

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