6 Reminders when giving Feedback

No matter what industry you are in, these 6 reminders when giving feedback will be helpful. My guess is the majority reading this post are in retail. As a retail manager, whether a Regional Manager, a District Manager, a Store Manager or a key holder, giving feedback is one of the most important responsibilities you have. Whether the feedback is positive or constructive, there are 6 important aspects to remember.

Giving feedback the wrong way can be mortifying, even damaging to an individual. Some leaders who have either had a bad experience or are terrified of doing it the wrong way, choose not to give feedback or worse yet, only share the good things and avoid the constructive conversations.

In a future post, I will be sharing my key learnings on having crucial conversations.

Be Specific when giving Feedback

I am sharing this one first because to me it might just be the most important. We should be specific about the gap between current performance and desired performance. For there to be a change in behavior, the associate needs to understand specifically what they are doing that doesn’t work and what they can do better. You will also need to know how you will evaluate their change in performance.

Things to consider:

  • Are you clearly defining their necessary actions?
  • How will you evaluate their changed performance?

Motivate the other person when giving Feedback

When we need to give constructive feedback, we need to do it in a way that motivates the person to want to improve. How is this done? Make sure you are sharing feedback on both their efforts and their results. To just give one or the other is demotivating.

Things to consider:

  • Are you considerate of how your associate will feel about the feedback you provide?
  • Do you share both positive and negative feedback?
  • Are you giving feedback about their effort and their results?

Be Constructive

When you give feedback about something that they have done, or not done, emphasize the impact it is having on the team or organization.

Things to consider:

  • Do you remind your associate that you believe they can improve their performance?

Work Together

It is so important to ask questions about how the associate thinks they are performing. Directly telling the associate what they haven’t done well causes people to shut down. Once you have shared the specific feedback, give them an opportunity to share their opinions or reactions. Give them a chance to suggest ways they will improve.

Things to consider:

  • Are you giving them a chance to weigh in?
  • Will you suggest ways they can improve?

Communicate Well

I have always found that the more clear and concise I am when I give feedback, the better. Sometimes, when we are uncomfortable with the topic or just the idea of giving challenging feedback, we tend to muddle the message. The Crucial Conversations class and book were the most helpful in helping me learn the keys to giving challenging feedback in a safe manner.

There are 3 components here to consider:

  • What does our body language say to them?
  • Are you asking clarifying questions?
  • Do you encourage the associate to ask questions for anything they don’t understand?

Be Straightforward

If we only give feedback when we need job performance to improve, people will always be nervous when we tell them we need to talk to them. Four scariest words in the English language “we need to talk”. (if you are a Seinfeld fan, this one was for you!). As George said, “no one NEEDS to talk!”.

Remember, when you begin to give the feedback, be clear as to which kind of feedback you are providing. Is it appreciation or coaching? We don’t want our teams to dread one-on-one conversations so being straightforward will help alleviate the concern.

Show you Care

As a leader, our jobs are to help people grow and continue to improve in their role. No one wakes up and says, “I think I will do a terrible job today!” Rather, I really believe people want to be successful and do well.

Giving feedback should be because we want the person to learn and grow in their role. If this isn’t the reason you are giving the feedback, stop and rethink your approach so that it is focused on benefiting your team and your organization succeed!

It’s Your Turn

Holiday is upon us and the increased busyness along with the COVID complications can cause us to get stressed out. Being stressed out can cause us to forget the basics like giving feedback. I love an easy reminder on how to be effective in giving feedback. It has been a challenging year for everyone. Using empathy when we approach our associates to give them feedback will be important so that they know we care about them and we really want to help them improve and be successful.

If you found this helpful, please share it with a friend or colleague who might benefit from it too!

xoxo,

Rachel Williamson Running Great Stores
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