8 Steps To Consider When Giving Feedback To Employees
Below are eight steps that will enable you to say anything — no matter how difficult — in two minutes or less. Conversations following these eight steps enable recipients to remember the situation; see the impact of their actions; speak on their own behalf; and create, hopefully with your input, a plan for the future.
1. Introduce the conversation so feedback recipients know what to expect.
2. Empathize so both the feedback provider and the recipient feel as comfortable as possible.
3. Describe the observed behavior so the recipient can picture a specific, recent example of what you’re referring to. The more specific you are, the less defensive he will be and the more likely he’ll be to hear you and take corrective action.
4. Sharing the impact or result describes the consequences of the behavior. It’s what happened as a result of the person’s actions.
5. Having some dialogue gives both people a chance to speak and ensures that the conversation is not one-sided. Good feedback conversations are dialogues during which the recipient can ask questions, share his point of view and explore next steps.
6. Make a suggestion or request so the recipient has another way to approach the situation or task in the future. Give people the benefit of the doubt. If people knew a better way to do something, they would do it another way.
7. Building an agreement on next steps ensures there is a plan for what the person will do going forward. Too many feedback conversations do not result in behavior change. Agreeing on next steps creates accountability.
8. Say “Thank you” to create closure and to express appreciation for the recipient’s willingness to have a difficult conversation.
If you’re giving more than one piece of feedback during a conversation, address each issue individually. For example, if you need to tell someone that he or she needs to arrive on time and also check his or her work for errors, first go through the eight steps in the formula to address lateness. When you’ve discussed an agreement of next steps about being on time, go back to
step one and address the errors. But talk about one issue at a time so the person clearly understands what he or she is supposed to do.
Related post: Five steps for giving productive feedback