Just the thought of it makes many of us uncomfortable. Don’t you wish there was some sort of proven, step-by-step process to providing constructive feedback to make it more productive and more of a learning experience?
Read on in this Thrive in Five to learn how to deliver constructive feedback in an objective discussion about behavior, desired outcomes, and next steps. For more information on feedback, check out our past Thrives on giving feedback, receiving feedback, and creating a feedback action plan.
The Six Steps
University of Florida created an informative and useful two-pager that outlines the process and risks in detail. Here is a summary of the steps, and if you want to see the whole document to save or print for future reference, click the button below.
State what you have observed. “Jane, I’m concerned that your most recent projects have fallen behind schedule.”
Wait for a response. Allowing the employee to respond shows them that this is a dialogue, and you want to work through this together. It helps create buy-in from the employee and feels less accusatory than if you just “lecture” them.
Remind of the goal. “Jane, it’s important that our projects be completed on time.”
Ask for a specific solution. “What steps can you take or what adjustments can you make to ensure that these projects are completed on time?”
Agree together. “So, we agree…” It’s important to clarify that you are both getting the same take-aways and are on the same page about next steps.
Follow up. The only way to reinforce the behavior and outcomes you discussed in this conversation is to follow up and make sure the employee has all the resources necessary. Approach it as a “How are you doing?” and “Is there anything you would like help with?” and “Do you have everything you need to be successful?” Make sure he or she knows you’re on his or her side.
Apply the Five!
We developed a “Manager’s Guide” to The 2-Minute Challenge. After understanding the process and how to use the technique effectively, use our guide to help document the discussion between you and the person for whom you’re providing feedback. Click below to access the PDF version of the guide, which you can print or edit in Adobe.
Learn How Evans Thrives!
What better way to inspire you to thrive than to hear about real people making it happen? And what better way to learn about Evans than to make those real people Evans employees?
Meet Bob Etris!
I am a firm believer in the idea that one of the best ways to grow in your career is through feedback. My experiences that follow, in no particular order, are things I’ve picked up along the way that stuck with me. Very few are originals, but I hope one or two resonate with you!
Feedback is a gift – whether it is positive or negative, whether it resonates with you or not, feedback is an opportunity to reflect on the impression you are creating for someone else. How others see you, much more so than how you see yourself, defines the experience you create at work and in life.
Listen to understand – when having a hard conversation, no matter what role you hold in that moment, it’s critical you really listen to what is being said. Paying attention to the context of the exchange, absorbing their body language, and thinking about what might happen before and after the conversation all go into creating an ‘experience’ that’s human-centered.
Enable the success of others – at Evans, what’s best for the team is of paramount importance. The most useful pieces of feedback I ever received are:
- I’m not that good at giving direct feedback… so I have spent a long time working on that part of myself, to be a better leader and model to help others grow with honest, helpful feedback.
- I can’t just assume everyone is comfortable working the way I do… meaning I need to plan and share those detailed plans, rather than working off of just the plan I’ve created in my mind. This helps others in our team feel comfortable with our strategy and work together to meet our goals.
Until Next Time…
The Evans Thrive Team
(Nicole, Kaitlin, Laura, Bob, and Sean)
(This image was adapted from a commonly shared internet image.)