How to Provide Feedback Effectively – Part 1

As a leader, one of your roles is to provide feedback to your team members. Thus, you should aim at becoming skillful at it. When provided effectively, feedback benefits the team member receiving it (as well as the organization as a whole).

Feedback isn’t meant to be a bad thing. It isn’t meant to be dreaded. Feedback is meant to be constructive and beneficial to its recipient. Like a GPS system, feedback confirms that you’re on the right track and nudges you back on the path when you start to lose your way. In that sense, providing feedback creates a good opportunity to reinforce positive behavior as well as a way to prevent slip-ups before it’s too late.

As a leader, you don’t offer feedback to your team members to punish them or make them feel bad about something they did. You provide them with feedback to help them perform their work with excellent and ensure they respect the rules and etiquette of the workplace.

Unless we’re dealing with an insecure leader who resents seeing their team members receiving praise, most leaders enjoy providing pleasant feedback to their team members. When they have to compliment a team member and give them a pat on the back for their great work, they don’t skip a beat. This is usually labeled as “positive feedback”.

However, when the feedback aims to correct a team member’s behavior or address performance issues—which some, traditionally, label as “negative feedback”—most leaders dread having to provide the feedback. They know that most team members don’t appreciate being told that they’re not meeting expectations and need to shape up.

The greater part of leaders’ struggle to provide feedback comes from their misunderstanding of the purpose of feedback. Feedback isn’t a way for leaders to get things off their chest. It’s not a venting mechanism. It’s not a way for leaders to flog their team members for breaking the rules. As I mentioned, feedback is one of the ways leaders help their team members. This is important.

If you approach all your feedback session with the genuine intention of helping your team members meet the requirements of their work, you’ll find it easier to provide even the most sensitive feedback. Not only will it relieve some of the pressure off your shoulders, it’ll change your approach to the feedback session.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.