When encouraged, even at your weakest and most vulnerable times, you come out strong. Motivation is key to get your team to give their all. Constructive feedback plays an important role in communicating.
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. You need to make 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 will let employees be aware that you have their best interests in mind. It will also help them realize that you believe in them, and open more channels of communication.
2. Offer Balanced Feedback
When you are offering feedback to a team member on their performance, you need to take a balanced approach. It is important you talk 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 simply 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. It is important you 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 it’s important you give others space to convey what they need to say. Allow them to speak so they can tell you why they did what they did.
Instead of over analyzing and interpreting the situation, observe, understand, and then 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 you such an observation.
4. Be Specific and 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. You should always make it a point to offer feedback about the situation itself.
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 exactly you want to talk about. Don’t start immediately, especially before you are aware of what you’re going to talk about or with who.
Prepare for the questions you might be asked about the feedback you are offering. Prepare your own 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 are communicating your points. The second step is to set the tone for the feedback as well as the conversation.
You need to be more appreciative of your team member’s efforts, and make sure you let them on 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.
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.
You also need 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 to them their good and bad as an outsider and a mentor, and make them feel that ideas are welcome and workable.
4. Resolve their Concerns
When a team member does not perform as well, there has to be a reason. It is important to understand their concerns and also the issues they have been facing. You need to deal 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 you share a disagreement. Be a mentor, not just a manager.
As a mentor, your team’s motivation level and performance depends on you. Along with leading your team towards victory, you should also make sure you offer them necessary feedback and tell them where they’re going wrong.
Always make sure to offer feedback that is constructive and essential so that they are ready to listen to it and actually incorporate it. Balance the positive feedback with the negative, so that it actually makes 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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