Confidently Giving Feedback

“Always tell the truth, it’s the easiest thing to remember.”

David Mamet


How confident are you in giving feedback? If you are ready to take the next step to develop your team, confidence in giving feedback is key. By now I hope you have successfully plotted your team on the bell curve as shared from my last post. That was the first step. The next step is to put a plan together to actually develop your team, right? Wrong. The next step is to evaluate our own ability to give feedback, both positive and constructive so that your efforts in developing your team will be a positive experience for both of you.

Commitment and Skill

Developing your team requires two things: Commitment and Skill.

Commitment means that whether you feel like it or not, you will be dedicated to providing specific feedback in the moment with kindness and authenticity.

Skill means that you have worked hard to learn how to provide feedback with finesse. You don’t just blurt it out. Because feedback, done well is a gift for the receiver and for you. The receiver will feel good about themselves and will want to strive to continue to perform. A gift for you because you will build meaningful relationships with your people which, in most cases, drives retention. You don’t have to wait until you are perfect at it. The more you do it, the better you will get.

What does giving feedback confidently look like?

The best managers:

  • Don’t over think it, they just do it knowing they will get better with practice.
  • Give feedback frequently and informally – They don’t wait until the annual performance review (if you even do those anymore). Look for opportunities in the moment!
  • Direct feedback that will ultimately make the customer experience better – this keeps personal opinions at bay with a focus on what really matters most.
  • Find ways to get feedback from the team (not just give feedback).

Guidelines to giving confidently giving feedback

Here are some general guidelines for giving feedback. Remember, you are working on the relationship so speak from your heart and keep the emotion out of it. If you are feeling emotional, have the conversation once you have calmed down. It is always a good idea to prepare first!

Here are some simple guidelines to follow:

  1. Identify the reason for giving the feedback.
  2. Be specific about what behavior you want them to continue or change
  3. Make it timely and give it near the time of the event so people remember what happened.
  4. Find the right place to have the conversation.
  5. Keep it simple/slow. People can get overwhelmed with too much information.
  6. Focus on behavior, not person. This allows you to reinforce specifically what the person did.
  7. Explain the impact to the store, the customer, the team or themselves.

Time to Jump In

Hopefully this refresher on giving feedback will help you build your confidence. The best way to really learn a skill is to practice. I hope you will use your learnings from this post with your next conversation. The next post is going to delve into the specifics of How to Develop your Team! Can’t wait!

With Joy,


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