When asked about the thing most managers dread about their job, the number one response is giving constructive feedback. Yet this is the most important task for any leader. As someone who came out of college and was leading a team at 22 years old, I wish I’d had some guidance on how to make feedback sessions more effective for my team members. After 33 years in corporate America, here is a simple outline I learned to use for making the most of a feedback session.
Before the meeting:
Find a private location to have the discussion and notify the employee that you want to have a discussion about performance. This will help take the surprise out of the meeting.
Beware of feedback overload. Most individuals can get overwhelmed when you are giving them feedback on more than two areas, so be sure to focus your discussion on a few specific items.
Do your homework. Make sure you can give specific examples of problem areas or areas where the em...
How to Receive Constructive Feedback from Your Boss
When writing my book DARE, I interviewed many women, but also men. In talking with the men I asked: “If you could give women in the workplace one piece of advice, what would it be?” The number one response I received was “I wish women would not be so defensive when I give them constructive feedback." Many men said they would not give candid feedback to women because women typically get too emotional or upset. Women managers, on the other hand felt that men got very combative when receiving their feedback, leading to a breakdown of the process.
My initial response was to tell both men and women they may want to think about how their feedback was delivered. We are all better able to absorb feedback when it is delivered in a caring fashion. However, feedback really is a gift. I have learned over the years it is only people who really care about us who will take the time to give us honest and candid feedback. ...
The language we use defines our brand and how others perceive us. It is important to choose your words carefully. I often counsel people to seek advice from their boss or key customers when dealing with very controversial matters. This can help you gain their support and valuable insights you may not have considered.
When asking for this feedback it is best to frame your request as asking for their input and NOT asking for their help. If you frame the request as asking for help it may signal that you are unable to make a decision on your own. By asking instead for input you position yourself as someone who is competent but values advice of others, open to feedback and willing to listen to and work with others.
Little changes in how we communicate can equal big changes in how we are perceived by others.