Giving Feedback

Posted on 27th August 2019

Effective communication is a fundamentally essential component of high performance. There are numerous benefits of giving and receiving feedback for personal development. It helps with the building and maintaining of good relationships, at the workplace or at home.

And while it is accepted that the role of feedback is a major contributor to all of this, many people struggle with both giving and receiving feedback.

Benefits of Giving Feedback

My daughter identified this brilliantly the other day when, husband gave me a compliment (rare in itself) I immediately disagreed with him. I am not good at receiving compliments (receiving positive feedback) and she told me so!

This is an area as a manager I have had to commit some time to improve upon within my own professional development. If I think about it, not only as a manger but in my personal life and in relation to clients also. Giving and receiving feedback effectively not only builds character but builds strong leaders.

The benefits of giving and receiving feedback for personal development is crucial in the growing stages of life. Personally, my children are far beyond the stage of believing the great big smile and the ‘oh that looks fantastic!’ that as a parent inevitably follows the scratchy artwork of a 3-year-old. Providing feedback on homework that doesn’t immediately dash their hopes but still provides development points that they may need to consider is tough, and with teenagers you are never going to be right! That’s why focusing on the methods of giving feedback is something I am still working on.

Feedback in Communication

With clients, keeping in mind that the business is personal to the individual, any insight we may have into a situation may be only part of the picture. One must still be able to advise and guide, sometimes whilst providing information that you know isn’t going to be what they want to hear is always tough. The advice we provide has to be based on the facts we have available and be fair and just.

When it comes to people you work closely with on a daily basis it can be really tough. They are not your children who will eventually forgive you for not identifying their masterpiece of a fountain correctly! And they are not a client who despite maybe, receiving difficult news will accept that it is correct if you base it on facts, data and professional experience.

Giving Feedback to Employees

How do you give feedback to team members? And what is feedback in the workplace? The individuals within your teams are just that, individuals. With their own agenda’s, motivations and communication skills also. At work, we also know that the feedback that you may need to provide is not always going to be positive, though.

Below I have summarised some of the steps that I follow before providing feedback. This does not replace giving and receiving feedback training but should help start the process. I hope that they provide you with some direction should you be thinking about how to deliver some feedback at work. You can even use a giving and receiving feedback PowerPoint if need be. (And don’t ask me about the teenager feedback, I still haven’t got that bit right yet!)

You can tell three people the same thing and dependent on the circumstances they can all hear a different message. This is why training can be crucial as a leader, because the benefits of receiving employee feedback to and from other employees or leaders, is necessary to grow as a team.

When you are giving feedback to your employees, think about who you are talking to, how do they communicate, are they fact based or more emotional in their communication. Remember, giving and receiving feedback in the workplace can be a sensitive matter. It’s about how they would hear the message not about how you would receive the same message. And how to give feedback to team members as a whole is a whole other matter, which could require proper training. Luckily, we provide a Level 3 or 5 Leadership and Management course that will help with that. A tip would be to do try some giving and receiving feedback exercises with your team to show them how to accept critique or criticism and so they are ready for performance reviews.

A little bit of planning here could save a lot of pain, when giving or receiving feedback effectively. Give some consideration to the below;

Contentwhat you say

Mannerhow you say it

Timingwhen you say it

If you can deliver feedback both positive and negative, successfully there can be major benefits for your organisation. The benefits of constructive feedback can look like confidence in that person, the ability to take risks in the workplace that could pay off, or the eagerness to work more passionately on a certain project.

I am still working on my own delivery of feedback however, if you would like some development in this area, please see our website for our courses.

Through our training we look to ensure that delegates;

  • Truly appreciate how feedback can help to develop your people, improve working relationships and enhance the performance of individuals, teams and the business.
  • Allow people to explore and understand the variety of ways in which we give and receive feedback (not just through conversation) and how the correct use of language can make a huge difference.
  • To understand why it sometimes doesn’t work and identify the factors that cause this.
  • Learn how to give others effective feedback (both easy and more challenging) in a number of practical exercises.
  • Help individuals to recognise the value of asking for feedback and learn how to receive difficult or challenging feedback and make best use of it.

As always if you feel that you need support with a specific situation please call us on 01536 215240 or email info@gatewayhr.com  and one of our team will be happy to help.

Lindsay Baker Character
Written by:
Lindsay Baker
Head of HR