Giving feedback is an inescapable responsibility of leaders, managers, coaches, and facilitators. Used skilfully, it can promote growth and development of the receiver. Used unskilfully, it can trigger defensiveness, anxiety, and drop in performance. So how can we offer feedback effectively?
Before I offer feedback, I like to keep three principles in mind: Encourage, Educate, Empower. Asking myself the following questions helps me apply these principles.
Encourage: Will what I am about to communicate encourage the receiver to keep an open mind? Will it put him in a positive frame of mind? Will it make him feel confident and capable?
Educate: Will it reveal blind spots that she was not aware of? Will it make her aware of strengths she did not know she possessed? Will it make her aware of potential areas of improvement to keep growing?
Empower: Will it prompt him to think for himself and find his own way forward?
Following are some specific actions I try to take, to ensure alignment with the above three principles.
How do you offer feedback? How would you like to?