Giving Effective Feedback

Critical conversations take place frequently in the workplace.  One of the most difficult, yet critical, things for a manager to do is to provide feedback to an employee, especially if the feedback is negative.  The following checklist provides quick pointers for managers.

- Reinforcement is the most effective form of feedback.
- Criticism is the most ineffective form of feedback.
- The difference between criticism and advice is a difference in timing. Most criticism can be given as advice.
- When feedback is mixed, the impact is diluted. The employee becomes confused and doesn’t know what to do.
- Criticism overpowers all other feedback.
- Silence is not always “golden.” It can be interpreted in a variety of ways.

When giving feedback, remember:

- State specifically what you’ve observed, whether it’s positive or negative
• What, when, where.
• Give examples that support your points.

- Concentrate on the observable behaviors and results and not the person.
• Express observations calmly and factually.

- Describe specifically what you want to reinforce or correct.
• Explain why it is important to recognize or correct the performance.

- Describe the consequences and impact of the employee’s performance.

- Balance positive and negative feedback.
• Praise accomplishments.


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