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3 Feedback techniques you can use as a manager.

Everyone knows what feedback is. And no doubt managers understand the impact it has on people's development. But very often we are so busy to spend time collecting feedback and reflecting on that. Moreover, it becomes a formal exercise one year from another…

This blog post will help you to learn about the most famous feedback techniques. You can use them without putting too much effort into preparation for your one-to-one. But it will add some structure and clarity to make the meeting valuable for your team members.

Why do we need to care?

89% of HR professionals said that ongoing feedback is the key to successful outcomes. The source: the survey by the Society for Human Resource Management and Globoforce).

It increases people's motivation and helps them to develop their skills. And it can be one of the steps you can take for building trust between you as a leader and your team.

I used to work with many leaders in different countries. The most common mistake was that a manager showed up not prepared for this meeting. Another misstep is to give feedback on the run when a person feels ‘ambushed’. It can turn unpredictable.

The following schemes can help you to avoid those situations. They are different, but you can decide what you would like to try and in which circumstances. This is only a recommendation, not a must-have. You never know, what can come out during those one-to-one meetings. Listen to them, and don’t feel under the pressure to stick to your plan with all the questions. Let it go and try again next time. Sometimes, giving feedback can take more than 60 minutes.

We can describe the Strengths-based approach by Kluger and Nir in 3 steps:

1. Eliciting a success story: Ask the employee to focus on what’s been working well for them.

2. Discovering your personal success code. Ask them to explain how they contributed to this success, and what support they needed.

3. The feedforward question: Ask them to reflect on their current priorities.

This model is not for everyone. But if you feel that your team prefers to learn by recognising their strengths, give it a try. It can also become a part of a performance review or a development conversation.

The Situation-Behavior-Impact™ Feedback Tool (developed by the Center of Creative Leadership) puts it in three parts:

  • Situation: Outline the situation you're referring to. So that the context is clear and specific.

  • Behaviour: Discuss the precise behaviour that you want to address.

  • Impact: Highlight the impact of the person's behaviour on you, the team, and the organization.

You can apply this technique to a positive message or during a crucial conversation. The outcome will be clear in both situations.

The last method to share is ‘Stop – Start – Continue’.

This is a very powerful exercise which you can use for a team discussion. I usually recommend this tool when managers want to hold a development session. Or if they need some reflection within the group before a big change.

There are three blocks with questions:

• STOP: What processes are not working for us? What should we stop doing?

• START: What can we do to improve our processes? What should we try next?

• CONTINUE: What's working well for us? What process should we explore further?

It can become a great opportunity for you to listen to your team and share your vision as a leader. Plus, it brings transparency and excitement to a team. When everyone will have a chance to speak up, the engagement level will increase.

I hope that you found these practices useful and will try some of them. But let me highlight, that consistency, clarity and two-way conversation are the key elements of every feedback.

Before requesting or giving feedback, always ask yourself: what do I want from this? How can I help my peers so they would not feel confused? Which questions can I ask not to feel drained?

I helped hundreds of managers to strengthen and hone their leadership skills. Please, let me know your thoughts on this topic or comment. You can always book a call for a free session, and I will be happy to know you and what challenges you have.


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