Most managers are feedback averse as they don’t like delivering bad news. They either decide to ignore the bad behaviour in the hope it will improve on its own, or they deliver the feedback in such a vague way the recipient has no idea whether the feedback was good or bad!
Why is feedback important?
How are we going to know if we are doing a good/bad or brilliant job if no one tells us? Feedback is essential to either keep us on track or get us back on track. Most millennials are feedback hungry – they grew up with so much feedback every day. If they are hungry for feedback and I believe it’s not just positive feedback, let’s give it to them!!
But what about the other type of feedback, when things aren’t being done correctly? We call this type of feedback, improvement feedback, rather than negative or constructive feedback. It is essential that improvement feedback is provided to get people back on track, otherwise, they will continue (and often get worse) to do the wrong thing. Most people find this type of feedback very satisfying in the long term because there is potentially more to be gained from feedback that charts an upward trajectory over time.
Why are most managers not good at giving feedback or they avoid it?
When it comes to giving positive feedback, we are not tuned in to look for the things our team is doing right – we always look for what they have done wrong. We need a mindset change to focus on catching them doing it right.
When it comes to offering improvement feedback, from our experience, most managers see it as confrontational, they are afraid the team member will take it personally and get upset. It’s just easier to avoid it altogether.
How do you give feedback that works?
Here’s the secret to giving feedback, both positive and improvement that works – focus on the behaviour, not the person or the attitude. The reason why most team members get upset is because they feel as though they are being attacked. When you focus on their behaviour, which is simply what did they say or do, they can’t argue with you and most team members get it straight away and are open to change.
Then when they do it right the next time, make sure you praise the behaviour change you have just witnessed. This helps to lock in the new behaviour and they are now on the right track to being successful.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.