The Two Stage Process Of Delivering Feedback
On Saturday I attended the August edition of the Kenya Youth Coaching forum organized by Ande Kenya. The topic was "leadership and how to adopt a transformational/servant leadership in our organizations to become great managers". The session was very interactive, engaging and very practical as it was well handled by Victor Samuels and Carl Lewis.
Today I would like to share with you two tips/ ways/ process of giving your employees, colleagues, team mates or juniors feedback (part of what I learnt from the session).
Why is this important? I have had those terrible days at work when I thought I had done a good job on that report, proposal, write up or strategy only to get “THIS IS CRAP” or “RE-DO” as the feedback on my email. Such responses always annoy and depress me leaving me more confused and lost on what to work on, edit or change. Why? Because the feedback I got didn’t point at any flaws! We’ve all been through this at one point or the other, where you submit something to your boss, he/she edits it, removes a few slides and sends it over to the client. One thing your boss never lets you know (The lesson) probably is why he removed slide 6 and edited slide 8 thus leaving you with more questions! Why? He never gave you feedback!
In our organizations today, giving good feedback helps your juniors learn from you. You may not hold a certain key position in the firm to practice this because leadership is all about actions and not the position. Great leaders instruct teams on what to do, explains the task/ expectations/results/job he wants done. At this point a great leader will also coach and mentor the team members as they execute the task before he finally delegates it fully. However bosses on the other hand give out instructions and expects amazing results at the end of the day. As a leader you need to give good feedback to your team, could be negative or positive but just how do you do it? How do you say “That was SHIT” without hurting or bruising the ego of the hardworking employee? How do you ensure the team learns from their mistakes or errors? Finally how do you ensure that you don’t kill the morale and spirit of the team members shouldn’t they deliver?
Here’s a two step process as shared by Carl Lewis.
The three W’s here stand for What Went Well. This should be your first step as a manager, team leader, boss or supervisor in giving feedback. Start with what the team did right, could be something small but do recognize their effort. State clearly what they got correctly, point out areas or tasks that we executed as per your plan. This not only ensures the team members or employee feels good about handling the task but also helps him/her understand and learn from the task. You may recognize personal efforts of certain members if it were a team task too as this helps other employees learn from their team mates. Finally this also boosts morale of your employees as well as self confidence that comes from your reinforcement.
E.B.I here stands for Even Better If. This is the second stage of giving feedback. After recognizing what was done well point out what they didn’t get right. It’s always good to put that in nice words to mask your bitterness and disappointment as a boss. Use words like If you could have done XYZ over ABC that would have given you better results!
If George could have done ABC and Terry handled XYZ you could have spent less time on the task. It could have been better if you used an excel spreadsheet for these tables rather than using Ms Word. Etc. That kind of delivery helps the employee understand what she did right and what was lacking. Do you get my point? Your employees are human beings so treat them well, seek to bring out the best in them by giving great feedback that they can learn from.
Next time your boss bangs the desk as he delivers his feedback just send him a link to this article. Teach him how to give you good feedback! Never shout to your juniors over a task done poorly just apply this two step process and you’ll notice an improvement in the way your employees handle tasks in future. They will be more comfortable with you, more open to engage you and better still they’ll always deliver beyond expectations!
Can we do that in our organizations? Better still can we practice this from today onwards?
Try this out, implement the above and let me know how it goes. You can also share your comments, thoughts and additions on this article with me on twitter @kenyanMarketer and let’s see how you give me feedback!