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Do You Give Effective Feedback?

August 22, 2015

 

Feedback goes beyond evaluations. Do you take the time to give regular feedback to your employees? Maybe it’s a good time for a “New Year’s Resolution” since a new school year is upon us.

 

As leader, we can all help our team members, at all levels in the organization, to be more successfully and meaningfully connected with feedback…not to mention an areas that has the greatest potential for personal improvement. Furthermore, a lack of feedback or recognition is one of the top three reasons why employees leave work in search of greener (and more positive) pastures.

 

Feedback is a great motivator, when given intentionally and methodically. But where do you start?

 

Provide Timely Feedback

 

Provide feedback. Provide it immediately. Do it. But why? If feedback isn’t given in a timely manner, it loses its impact. Imagine the power of letting someone know the event they just organized was well received, you having overheard attendees raving about the structuring devices and technology connections. Those doing the organizing should hear that right away. Let their success be supported by your praise.

 

Likewise, feedback on something that didn’t go as well, or perhaps and area for growth, should be given more sooner than later. Think about it. Would a offensive coach tell his quarterback three days from now that by dropping back one more step help his receiver gain a few more yards on his coverage? Heck no! He’d pull him aside when the possession changed in a game to pull out the whiteboard (or an iPad with video) and show him. Think like a coach! Feedback. Now!

 

Remember Your Star Performers

 

As leaders, we often have the natural tendency to praise those who we think need the feedback and praise. That means we may unintentionally overlook our superstars, and that’s a problem!  

 

Investing too much time in middle of the road performers means our top performers are neglected, and they need the praise just as much. Feedback, both positive and negative, needs to be distributed consistently. Consider your super stars for just one second and reflect honestly – do you give them the responsiveness that they need to remain great, tuned in, and motivated to stay on the team?

 

Be Specific

 

I know you’re saying – duh! Here’s a simple way to approach specific feedback with one simple piece to add to your next attaboy – add the word “because.”

 

            You really did a great job because….

            I admire the leadership you showed because…

            That project showed outstanding effort because….

 

It’s really that easy and let me tell you what happened when I started using it on feedback I provide to administrators in the Leading Edge certification course I’m teaching online. I started using “because” in my feedback and at least half of the last dozen comments I’ve given have resulted in administrators telling me they appreciated the specificity, hadn’t received feedback like that before, and felt valued for their work.

 

Perhaps you won’t receive the specific feedback that I did if you try it, but you won’t know until you try it. And if you have a great tip on something you’ve done, please share it with us.

 

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