How to Give Constructive Feedback to Team Members

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Constructive Feedback

Constructive feedback, when encouraged, even at your weakest and most vulnerable times, you come out stronger. Inspiring team motivation is the key to getting your team to give their best, and constructive feedback plays the starring role.

How constructive feedback helps:

  • Team members identify the team needs better, and they become more aware of their own abilities
  • Team members perform better and give more effort
  • A team that stays motivated is healthier and more efficient as compared to a team that receives no motivation

When you communicate directly with team members, you are able to resolve issues faster, and your ability to interact improves. This gives team members confidence to connect with you.

The question now arises, how can you give constructive feedback? Being a Marketing Manager at Space-O Technologies, I’m working with a team of 22 members. And here are four lessons I have learned:

Tips to Offer Constructive Feedback

1. Build Trust

The first step towards constructive feedback is establishing trust with your team. It would help if you made them feel that they can connect with you and communicate about everything. For instance, if they want to talk about their work or their requirements or an unfulfilling job role, they should be able to. It will help you improve your relationship and make it open and inclusive.

When offering feedback, this kind of relationship will help increase trust and let employees know that you have their best interests in mind. It will also help them realize that you believe in them and open more communication channels.

2. Offer Balanced Feedback

When you offer feedback to a team member on their performance, you need to take a balanced approach. It would be best if you talked about both the positive and negative.

For example, if you believe that the performance of an individual was not up to par, you can tell them how you know they’ve done their best, but somehow this one time, they couldn’t deliver as well. It should not be all positive. But you ought to mention what you believe went right. When feedback is balanced, it becomes easier for the team member. And they don’t feel discouraged.

In some cases, where you want things to be added, you need to say that the work looks good, but you need something extra. It makes up for the encouragement and gives them feedback on what they overlooked. You must align the goals for the two of you and build your criticism on the work, not the person.

3. Give Them Room to Speak

What you see may not always be the correct perspective. There are things that you might have overlooked. That’s why you must give others space to convey what they need to say. Allow them to speak to tell you why they did what they did.

Instead of overanalyzing and interpreting the situation, observe, understand, and talk. This will encourage people to connect with you and discuss different points. It will also help them be aware of what you expect and why. They will also understand why you are voicing your concern and what has led to such an observation.

4. Have One-On-One Conversations

Don’t beat around the bush when it comes to offering feedback. You don’t want them to feel you are not getting to the point, and you don’t want them to believe that they can’t finish a task.

It should be specific and to the point. When offering feedback, make sure you don’t point out personality traits or criticize the person. It would help if you always made it a point to provide feedback about the situation itself.

When offering feedback, make sure you don’t do it as a group. It is important that the person is facing you and it is a one-on-one conversation. You should give them room to voice their concerns. The idea is to help them understand why the discussion is being had and to let them be a part of that discussion.

Steps to Observe for Feedback

It is a step-by-step process, which allows you to ensure smooth sailing from preparation to offering feedback.

1. Preparation is a Must

The first step is to prepare for feedback. You need to observe and then make your points on what you want to talk about. Don’t start immediately, especially before you are aware of what you’re talking about or with who.

Prepare for the questions you might be asked about the feedback you are offering. Prepare your questions, and be prepared to hear answers. Don’t listen to answer; listen because you want to know. Every bit of offering feedback depends on the amount of preparation you have put in.

2. Set the Tone

When you are offering feedback, pay clear attention to the tone in which you communicate your points. The second step is to set the tone for the feedback and the conversation.

It would be best if you were more appreciative of your team member’s efforts and let them know that the main reason for feedback is to appreciate them and offer them motivation to do better. It is not about pointing out the negatives; it is about improvement.

Related Article: How to Promote Teamwork Through Employee Engagement

3. Communicate Your Observations

After understanding what they’ve said, and knowing the answers to all your questions, let them know how you feel. Tell them your observations on the matter and how you believe they should have dealt with it.

It would help to tell them what areas they might want to work on and what areas you feel they still lack depth in. The idea is to present their good and bad as an outsider and a mentor and make them feel that ideas are welcome and workable.

4. Resolve their Concerns

There has to be a reason when a team member does not perform as well. It is essential to understand their concerns and the issues they have been facing. It would help if you dealt with that respectfully.

Only when you identify the problem will you be able to solve it for them. If they have a slightly different opinion, listen to it before sharing a disagreement. Be a mentor, not just a manager.

Summing Up

As a mentor, your team’s motivation level and performance depend on you. Along with leading your team towards victory, you should also make sure you offer them the necessary feedback and tell them where they’re going wrong.

Always make sure to offer constructive and essential feedback so that they are ready to listen to it and incorporate it. Balance the positive feedback with the negative to make team members want to take the next step.

How Can You Give Constructive Feedback?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Yuvrajsinh Vaghela on LinkedinYuvrajsinh Vaghela on Twitter
Yuvrajsinh Vaghela
Yuvrajsinh Vaghela
Yuvrajsinh is a Marketing Manager at Space-O Technologies, a firm having expertise in software development. He has over 140k LinkedIn followers. With the help of these followers, he has helped over 250 job seekers to find their new job in India. He spends most of his time researching the mobile app and startup trends. He is a regular contributor to popular publications like Entrepreneur, Yourstory, and Upwork.
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