July 19, 2021 Giving Feedback

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve”

Bill Gates.

Giving feedback can come in two forms – positive feedback or feedback for improvement. 

Positive feedback is easy to give and receive, as it involves ‘good’ or ‘happy’ scenarios. Feedback for improvement on the other hand can sometimes be seen as demotivating and often not shared. So, how does one tackle it?

Focusing on quality feedback helps the person improve. You don’t want this to be a debate. Instead, focus on the facts and help the team member think about what has just been shared with them. They need to know you’re coming from a good place – that is to help them. Listening to their questions and their responses is an important part of this. He/she may not even be aware of how their actions or words have impacted others. Talking behind their back or not saying anything simply means it could happen again. Being honest and respectful will set the right tone for the conversation.  

When giving feedback, be;

Specific: provide as many details as possible or preferably, share a recent example.

Non-judgmental: focus on the issue rather than saying the person is the problem.

Timely: share the feedback as soon as possible for it to be meaningful.

Sincere: starting with a positive followed by ‘but’ or ‘however’ before feedback for improvement can sound like a set-up. Get to the point and ask if they understand; and offer to help.

Empathetic – put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would react.

How To Give Feedback:

  1. Ask if it’s OK – by agreeing to listen to what you have to say, they have opened the door to the conversation and can get ready for it. 
  2. Describe your observations – give specific examples and stick to the point. Don’t use judgmental language that can sound accusatory. 
  3. Talk about the impact – explain how their actions or what they said affects others. 
  4. Ask if they have questions – take a pause and listen to their perspective. 
  5. Ask for suggestions – this allows them to take ownership for their actions. By doing this, they will be in a better place to think about how to improve the situation and take any further actions.
  6. Thank them – it’s important to let them know that you appreciated the discussion and their ownership of what happens next.

Giraffe App - Creators Vas Nair and Sobha Nair

Hi there!

We’re Vas and Sobha Nair, two sisters that have lived and breathed all aspects of human resources for over 50 years between us. Giraffe was born from our global experience coaching leaders and business owners navigate the same tricky workplace issues and discussions that you face. We know the best practices and proven processes that help turn workplace conflict on its head – and we want to share all of this and more with you in Giraffe.

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