Feedback : Imagine that you want to tell a colleague something that you did not like about his work: an action, a response, a certain behavior. That is, as you would say in English, you want to give him feedback.
The feed-back refers to the feedback between workers, that is, the ease of exchanging information between the employees of an organization.
However, these comments do not have to always be negative . Although there is no doubt that this typology is the most difficult, positive feedback can also take place among the workers of a company.
But, what are the guidelines that you, as a worker, should follow to give good feedback ?
- You must make a draft with the points you want to deal with, thinking about those aspects that can add value to the work of the colleague who is going to receive that feedback.
You have to focus on aspects related to the guidelines of that script. It’s not about capturing everything you’ve been saving for years, because you have to keep in mind that the main objective of feed-back is utility .
- Look at specific and recent events, you don’t have to go back to the distant past:
Example of adequate feedback : “Last month, in the presentation we made to the X client, you answered the client that the X functionality could not be implemented at a technical level..”
Example of inappropriate feedback : “In some presentations I have heard you tell the client that the functionality they wanted could not be implemented at a technical level…”
If you as a worker say the second sentence, you can imply that you have not prepared the feed-back session and that you are not worried about being able to help your colleagues in their corresponding jobs, since you do not specify any aspect, you do not provide information some, you generalize… In turn, you will make the other person not feel valued and may even consider that they are being attacked.
- Focus on certain behaviors and not on the person who has carried out those acts.
When you give feedback to a colleague, you have to look at what the person receiving the feedback has done, not the person himself.
In other words, the comments you make should not vary depending on whether the person receiving it is a colleague, your neighbor, a lifelong friend… This feedback should focus on specific facts .
It is very easy for the colleague to whom you give all this information to feel judged and attacked, because he may consider that he is being criticized directly and not his actions. For this reason, it is very important to give feedback when doing (to the actions carried out by the person receiving feedback), because if so, this colleague may feel annoyed, but will not interpret your comments as a personal attack.
Example of adequate feed-back : “On Wednesday the 10th, in the presentation of client X, you exceeded 45 minutes of the time we had scheduled”.
Example of inappropriate feed-back : “You are very heavy with customers.”
When you use the verb “to be” (you are a ball, a fake…), you are including a personal opinion, a value judgment. For this reason, it is relevant that you carry out a feed-back based on objective facts , without including any value judgment.
It is not the same to say “You are always late” than “Your start time is 9:00 a.m. and you usually arrive at 10:00 a.m.”, because while in the first comment you are not making a constructive criticism, in the second, you You focus on commenting on a specific action.
There are certain words that you have to be careful with, since it is not recommended to include them in any feed-back session, such as “always”, “never” or “but”. The latter is considered a great universal eraser, since, in general, what goes before the “but” is usually erased from the listener’s memory, who focuses his attention on everything that goes after this word.
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For example, saying “how much initiative you have, but you work poorly as a team” is not the same as saying “you have a lot of initiative and could still improve if you worked more as a team”, because the person who hears the first sentence will only remember that he does not collaborate with the rest, without paying attention to the comment referring to their initiative. Therefore, the second alternative is a better option when elaborating this sentence.
- You have to maintain a balance between the positive aspects and the aspects to improve.
The purpose of the feed-back is that the colleague who receives it feels motivated , with a good taste in the mouth. He has to keep the points that he has to improve, but also with a motivating feeling to change those things in which he fails.
- Listen and check that the message has been understood.
Every time you comment on some aspect you have to verify that the other person has understood what you have said and what their opinion is about it.
- Find the right moment.
You have to choose a time that is suitable for both you and the partner receiving this feedback.
It is normal for you to conceive feedback sessions as something unpleasant and it is easy for you to want to “get rid of it” as soon as possible, however, you have to choose a time when you think the other person is receptive.
- Choose the best channel.
You have to choose a place, neutral if possible, away from interruptions and distractions where you can have a confidential conversation (never in public). Ideally, you should speak in person, as the written text can be misunderstood.
- Needs and requests.
You have to be honest and direct , but you have to make your comments sensitively. Although the context with your partner is trustworthy, it is necessary to maintain a “casual serenity” and without making jokes. You must use a cordial and professional tone .
You have to base yourself on explaining how certain behaviors affect you and make you feel. If there is something that bothers you about the colleague you give feedback to, it is preferable that you deal with it from a more innocuous and effective construction: “When you drink your coffee you are usually noisy and that bothers me, so I ask you not to you do it”. In this way, you talk about how a certain behavior affects you and what you need for that to change.
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