Feedback is an important process for any organization, but performance reviews can often cause much angst and concern for both the giver and receiver. This can be for many reasons including the following:
- Feedback sessions can often be filled with information that isn’t up to date or accurate, especially if only conducted once a year.
- Sometimes people hear information for the very first time and they are surprised, becoming defensive.
If performance reviews in your organization aren’t effective, or you don’t have them at all, here are some tips for managers/leaders to think about when it comes time to give feedback.
- What kind of mindset do YOU have about giving/receiving feedback? A willingness to ask about your own leadership and how you can better support others within your organization at least opens up dialogue and puts you on a better path.
- How frequently should you give feedback? All the time. Immediate, relevant feedback is the best way to help people to grow.
- Make sure you prepare properly for a feedback session, whether you are on the giving or receiving end.
- Follow-up outside of the feedback meeting.
When receiving feedback, consider the following tips:
- Be prepared
- Be ready to engage in active listening
- Be willing to check your emotions. Don’t allow yourself to get defensive.
- If there is something you don’t understand, continue to ask questions.
- Say thank you.
- Follow-up outside of feedback meeting.
Looking for a unique feedback tool for your organization? Consider the Marshall Goldsmith “Feedforward” exercise. Here’s how it works …
Ask each individual on your team to come up with one thing they would like to change and get better at, for example, managing time or prioritizing tasks. Then, the team pairs up in groups of two and shares with each other their goal. The other team member is then asked to give their top two suggestions for how their colleague can try to achieve their goal. The person on the receiving end of these suggestions may only do one thing: actively listen. And finally, when the colleague is finished providing the feedback, you simply say “thank you.” Then you switch roles and go through the process once more.
The dynamics of how you set-up your feedback system makes all the difference in the world about how that feedback is received. If something needs to be corrected, consider doing that in a separate meeting.