7 Tips for Giving Great Positive Feedback
One of the most common problems almost 90% of employees suffer in the workplace is a lack of positive feedback. This situation is found in most of the organisations and unfortunately most of the employees have to go through this crisis. Feedback deficiency occurs everywhere, irrespective of the size of the organisation. Another important facet of this crisis is that it occurs at all levels of an organisation and is not restricted to just one strata of population.
Understanding Positive Feedback Deficiency
Lack of feedback is a situation when people do not receive enough and timely feedback pertaining to their performance. Here we are not only discussing about receiving formal performance feedback but also a lack of ongoing, informal feedback, and regular feedback. This type of feedback is important as it is timely, specific, and it provides the individual receiving the feedback a 360 view of:
- Whether or not they have been able to achieve their set goals
- What is the essence of their respective role and what they are supposed to achieve as part of that role
- Which are the areas in which they are presently performing well and which areas need improvement
- How is their performance impacting other colleagues at the workplace
Slowly, organisations are displaying signs of recognising the importance of feedback and how it helps in improving the overall health of an organisation.
The Purpose of Giving Positive Feedback
The purpose of providing feedback is to initiate a healthy dialogue between both the parties so that they come to a middle ground where they share a better understanding of the state of affairs and are free to communicate:
- Their understanding or interpretation of a certain situation or circumstance
- Each others’ expectations
- Appreciation of each other as deemed fit
The entire objective of providing feedback to an individual is not with the intention to change that person. Change is not something that either a manager or peer can bring about. It depends only and only on the individual to initiate and reflect changes in himself/herself.
Examples of Some Mixed Feedback
Before we delve into how to give effective feedback, here are a couple of example of both positive and negative feedback that managers have provided to their employees over the years:
- You were a much more productive before your mom passed away.
- Well done! Great job and an excellent presentation indeed. But that was not what I was looking for. It did not meet my expectations.
- You need to put more effort in order to become a vibrant speaker!!
- Your growth has impressed us! You evolved like a tree branching out in various directions.
- Your passion for work is commendable!
- You are an asset to us!
- Your review skills are indeed very good, but we would appreciate if allow your colleagues to have an equal chance to speak as well. Sharing of views is very important for growth and knowledge acquisition.
Tips for Giving Positive Feedback
- It is always advisable that you provide your feedback directly to the concerned individual and not to their colleagues, your peers, or anyone with whom it does not concern to. This one really important to follow. Most of the times when our expectations are not met, we tend to grumble fearing confrontation with the person with whom it is concerned with. On the contrary, when our expectations are met, we tend to assume that the person is already aware and thereby ignore to appreciate the person.
- It is very important that you are specific while providing feedback. Always give examples as it helps to convey your message effectively. Providing specific feedback helps the other person to understand what actions or behaviors are expected and desired. Avoid communicating any kind of sentiment. Ensure that you convey very clearly to the individual what are your expectations, what you would appreciate, or what is your interpretation or take on a certain circumstances at hand. Using similes and metaphors can only be helpful, if both of you understand the intent of the message and are on the same page.
- It is equally important to select the right moment for giving any kind of feedback. It is usually more effective to give feedback when a certain incident has taken place recently. There is a note of caution though in such a circumstance. You should always avoid giving feedback when your emotions are at peak or vice versa. In other words you should also consider the mood of the person to whom you wish to give feedback to. Heightened emotions at both ends can get in the way of effective communication. You should ideally wait till the other person is in a state of mind to objectively take your feedback and is receptive to your message. However, that does not mean that you should wait till the annual performance review time to provide your feedback. Timely feedback at regular intervals is always a wise thing to do.
- Always ensure that you choose the right place to deliver feedback. If you wish to offer positive feedback, it is perfectly fine to do so in a public forum. However, when you are about to communicate a negative feedback, it is always best and advisable to do this in private with the person.
- It is imperative that you should never dwell on the past. Avoid harping on to the old examples, instead take a step forward and communicate to the person what is it that you expect from him or her going forward. Be futuristic and positive. It helps in eliminating the mode of defensiveness and helps in increasing receptivity.
- It is always recommended that you should deliver your negative feedback between your positive feedback, to balance it but still convey your message effectively. By adopting this tip, you pave the way to deliver next time a balanced feedback with the recipient being more receptive to hearing the negative with equal zeal so that the person can make amends and work towards a common goal in an effective and hassle free manner.
- It is very important to be flexible. The same task can be accomplished in various ways. It is not necessary that your way of doing it is the only way or the best way. Always be reasonable while delivering your feedback and do not be driven by your ego or personal issues. Limiting your staff work only as per your whims and fancies limits creativity, learning, and innovation in your organisation. It deprives you of utilizing the varied skills, perspective, and experience of your employees which can be of great essence.