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RTO No; 1918
Mastering the art of giving feedback
Posted by Kathi Rogers | Learning & Development Consultant on 5 December 2019.
Feedback can be a tough yet rewarding conversation to have. A common concern experienced when providing feedback is the uncertainty of how your message will be received. If you are a leader, giving feedback is ultimately about mentoring. A truly great mentor always seeks to make feedback clear with action to move forward or improve. Regardless if you are a leader, managing up or communicating to peers or stakeholders, the content of your feedback needs to be accurate.
Here’s some tips to help you master the art of giving feedback:
An important first step is to make sure you’re clear on your reason for giving feedback. Whether the other person is someone you supervise, a peer, a friend, or client, focus giving feedback that serves the person receiving it. If the recipient doesn’t benefit from your message, feedback becomes redundant. It becomes a statement or one-sided opinion.
Use structure to frame your message
There are different frameworks available to structure your message. The A.I.D. acronym is one that can be easily applied. Its memorable too, as the meaning “to aid” someone is “to help”.
A is for Action
Describe the actions taken that you’d like to highlight during your feedback conversation. Use observations when giving feedback. Have the answer to questions such as “What happened?", “Who was there?”, “When did it occur?”, “What was said?” ready so it is fact based. By providing details of observable behaviour it keeps the conversation in the factual state, minimising the emotive reactions feedback can provoke.
I is for Impact
What was the impact? While describing the actions that took place, provide the impact those actions had. This provides context to your message and why you feel it is important to talk about. For example; you might want to talk to an employee regarding their phone manner to a customer. You may have overheard them using slang terms such as “mate” and “cheers”. You think this demonstrates a lack of respect for the customer. The impact of this is the company may be viewed as having lower customer service standards and therefore negatively impacts the brand and reputation.
D is for Desired outcome
What is the agreed desired outcome? State your desired outcome (in observable behaviour terms) then open the conversation for change. Using the example above you may want the employee to “refer to the customer by name” and “Thank you” instead of “mate” and “cheers”. The desired outcome needs to be open to interpretation, as the recipient may have their own opinions and suggestions of how they can improve. Use this stage of the conversation to work out an agreeable outcome.
Allow enough time for your feedback
The main reason for giving feedback is to provide a perspective which the person receiving may not have. Although the issue may seem obvious to you often the other person has no idea they need to change. Everyone deserves a chance to improve—sometimes this can take time. So, ensure you have the time to wait for responses, particularly if the recipient needs time to process your information.
Be open to learning new information
Sometimes why people do what they do can be deeper than just surface level reasons. You may learn something very new about a person. They may even share private information with you as to the reasons for why they do what they do. So be open to listening to them and adapt your expectations on desired outcomes.
Feedback when done well can be a very connecting and rewarding experience for both parties involved. Using factual information with structure, while keeping your mind open for getting to an agreed outcome is key to great conversation.
We at ATI-Mirage can help. Join us for our next workshops: