Effective feedback in professional environments
Is there any situation where feedback is not key? I don’t think so. Why then it’s so difficult giving and receiving feedback? That’s easy to answer, fear. Yes, we are afraid of what the people may think about us, we are afraid about what will happen if we’re sincere with our colleagues, our family or our friends. Probably you believe it’s difficult and hard to say or to listen things directly (which is not being rude per se). You’re wrong, it’s ultra-hard. Feedback moves people to an emotional level, and that’s scary!
Have you thought how much effort and time misunderstandings, personal fights and concerns take from you?
Managing feedback will help you always in your professional career. One of the skills that always will be included in the profile of good leaders is their ability to give and receive feedback smoothly but effectively. Focusing in your career, managing effectively feedback will:
- Boost development
- Influence in future performance goals
- Motivate. Positive feedback is, by itself, reinforcing
- Avoid problems fester within
- Create trust relationships
Some real situations where you could get advantage of this skill are performance interviews, development interviews, workshops, projects, internal discussions within your team, discussions with your manager, etc…
Let’s talk then in practical terms. One of the main tools of the effective feedback is the SBI model:
- S SITUATION
- B BEHAVIOR
- I IMPACT
Focus on behaviors and situations rather than people. Be aware of impact not of people. It’s simple but you’ll need to think consciously in advance your sentences to follow it.
- Capture and clarify the specific situation where you’re going to give feedback about.
- The more specific and detailed the more clear will be the message.
- General talks lead into personal discussions.
- Define what you’re going to give feedback about.
- Base it on the use of verbs that describe actions of a person (not adjectives) and avoid judging.
- Focus on behaviors, not in the meaning of it.
- Pay attention to «not verbal» communication as well as the words.
- Describe the impact the behavior of the other person caused.
- Focusing on the effect of the behavior over you or others rather than judging it’s more effective and give the chance to the other person to explain his/her point of view.
The same model can be used giving but also receiving feedback. When you are the one receiving it, you should demand always to look for the facts and the impact, not letting others talk about you or your actions in general. That will help you to improve gathering the correct information for development.
The last BIG point to take into account in effective feedback is that positive feedback exists. Everyone needs to know when he/she does good things (even if it’s your boss). Positive feedback motivates to keep on; continuous lack of feedback of good things is frustration and no motivation.
- Describe the behavior that worth recognizing
- Explain why that behavior is important
- Show real esteem
- Help the other to recognize its own achievement
- Express trust on the constant performance of the other
- Don’t abuse of free positive feedback
Let's jump and start to talk clear and direct, take the risk, you’ll realize you can boost your career but also avoid wasting your time in personal fights that will not lead you anywhere.
Writen by Jose Luis Montero - Expert Storage Service Management