There are times when a follower’s (or employees) actions or behavior needs to be addressed, due to the potential negative impact it can bring. This is why a leader needs to be intentional about giving feedback. Giving feedback is not one of the easiest or glamorous leadership responsibilities but it’s a crucial aspect to leading effectively. Below are 4 practical steps to giving feedback:
1. Be specific- When giving feedback it’s important to be specific and direct. Pinpoint and bring up the exact problem at hand while avoiding any previous or indirect issues. Provide a specific situation that show the action or behavior you are addressing. This can help the person to clearly see the problem you are addressing.
2. Offer solutions- All feedback should be combined with solutions. When giving feedback you should provide relevant and practical solutions to the specific issue you’re addressing. Author Anthony J. D’Angelo wisely said, “Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems.” One way a leader can do this is to offer their time to train or coach the person.
3. Provide Praise- Blogging friend Bogdan Kipko (I highly recommend his blog, click here to check his blog out) recently shared this Facebook status: “A person won’t change the way they behave until they change the way they believe.” People want to know you care about them and value their contribution to the team. This is why a leader should provide praise when giving feedback, especially when it’s negative feedback. This can be done when you use the sandwich method. To use this method sandwich the negative feedback between two pieces of positive feedback.
4. Monitor for change- When you go through the above steps the last is to monitor the person to make sure their actions or behavior changes. Even if a leader delivers the most effective feedback, it’s ultimately the person who is receiving the feedback’s choice to change or not. Ideally you would be able to influence them to change. However, if their actions or behaviors continue to happen you should take the steps necessary to remove them from the team (after several warning).
Questions: Can you share any other additional steps? How do tend to provide feedback?