How to Provide Feedback Effectively – Part 3

When providing feedback to your team, you must consider two elements: your reason and your method.

In the first post of this series, I focused on your “reason” for providing feedback. There are many reasons for providing feedback to your team members. However, at the core, one trumps them all: to help your team members.

Providing feedback isn’t an opportunity to vent or to get even; it’s an opportunity to your team members meet or exceed the requirements of their position and the organization.

Many leaders genuinely have their team’s best interest at heart when providing feedback. However, their lack the know-how undermines the effectiveness of their feedback.

Your method for providing feedback matters. In the second post of the series, I introduced a method I have been using for someone time now. I call it the “BEEE” method: behavior; effects; expectations; and encouragement.

This four-step process aims to help you prepare for your feedback sessions and provides a template for you to follow when delivering your feedback to your team members.

Although I focus on providing corrective feedback—which most leaders struggle with—you can adapt this four-step process to provide positive feedback to your team.

Step 1. Behavior

After the courteous preliminaries, describe the bad behavior. To describe the behavior effectively, you must present facts. Facts reduce the chance of unproductive arguments. Of course, you must do your homework and gather your facts before the meeting.

For example, Let’s say one of your team members arrives late at work regularly and you want them to change their way. When you meet them to provide them with feedback, telling them, “You’re always late” is far less powerful than saying, “My records show that, in the past three months, you’ve been late 25 times, and here’s a table detailing the occurrences…”

Step 2: Effects

Once you’ve clearly described the bad behavior, present the effects this behavior has on the team member, the team, the organization, or whatever else the behavior may be impacting.

Select the one or two areas that are affected most or that your team member cares about most. For Instance, if they care a whole lot about the team, present the effects their behavior has on the team.

Let’s go back to your team member who is always late. You can say, “Being always late like this makes you look unprofessional” (effect on them). You can add, “It sets a bad example for novice team members. Plus, others have to take on part of your work in the morning while you’re missing in action” (effects on the team).

After presenting the effects, make a short pause before moving on to the next step. This reinforces your point and gives your team member time to think about their behavior and its effects.

Step 3. Expectations

In this step, you state your expectation as well as potential solutions to help correct the behavior. The team member can participate in finding solutions to correct their behavior.

This isn’t a time to vent or for threats. Simply state the expectation and seek to propose solutions that might help your team member.

For example, you can tell your latecomer, “As you know, the organization requires that all team members show up to work on time and ready to work.”

As a solution, you can offer your team member the option of changing their regular schedule to a later time. Give your team member space to come up with their own solution—after all, they know their situation better than anyone else.

Step 4. Encouragement

You’ve described the bad behavior, presented its effects, stated your expectations and have found solutions to correct the behavior. Now, because your purpose is to help your team member, you conclude the discussion with words of encouragement. That is, you express your confidence that they can correct the behavior and rise up to the occasion.

Most team members don’t want to let their leader down, especially when the leader believes in them. Those that don’t care, either don’t stay long or find themselves on the disciplinary track fast. Your words of encouragement will motivate your team member to make required change to meet your expectations.

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.