GIVING CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK - Cabrillo College Home Page

GIVING CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK - Cabrillo College Home Page

3 Pages · 2008 · 96 KB · English

GIVING CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK Feedback is an essential element for everyone in an organization's workforce. Giving feedback is a task you perform again and again as a

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GIVING CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK Feedbackisanessentialelementforeveryoneinanorganization'sworkforce.Givingfeedbackis ataskyouperform againandagainasamanagerorsupervisor,lettingpeopleknowwherethey areandwheretogonextintermsofexpectationsandgoals-yours,theirown,andthe organizations. Feedbackisausefultoolforindicatingwhenthingsaregoingintherightdirectionorfor redirectingproblem performance.Yourobjectiveingivingfeedbackistoprovideguidanceby supplyinginformationinausefulmanner,eithertosupporteffectivebehavior,ortoguidesomeone backontracktowardsuccessfulperformance. Somesituationswhichrequiregivingconstructivefeedbackinclude: ? Ongoingperformancediscussions ? Providingspecificperformancepointers ? Followinguponcoachingdiscussions ? Givingcorrectiveguidance ? Lettingsomeoneknowtheconsequencesoftheirbehavior Somecluesthatconstructivefeedbackisneededarewhen: ? Someoneasksforyouropinionabouthowtheyaredoing ? Unresolvedproblemspersist ? Errorsoccuragainandagain ? Anemployee'sperformancedoesn'tmeetexpectations ? Apeer'sworkhabitsdisturbyou SIX W AYS TO MAKE FEEDBACK CONSTRUCTIVE Partofbeinganeffectivemanagerorsupervisorisknowingwhatfeedbacktogive.Thetrickis learninghowtogiveitconstructivelysothatithassomevalue.constructivefeedbackisatoolthat isusedtobuildthingsup,notbreakthingsdown.Itletstheotherpersonknowthatyouareon theirside. 1.Ifyoucan'tthinkofaconstructivepurposeforgivingfeedback,don'tgiveitatall. 2.Focusondescriptionratherthanjudgement. Describingbehaviorisawayofreportingwhathasoccurred,whilejudgingbehaviorisan evaluationofwhathasoccurredintermsof"rightorwrong",or"goodorbad".Byavoiding evaluativelanguage,youreducetheneedfortheindividualtoresponddefensively. Forexample:"Youdemonstrateahighdegreeofconfidencewhenyouanswercustomer questionsaboutregistrationprocedures,"ratherthan,"Yourcommunicationskillsaregood." 3.Focusonobservationratherthaninference. Observationsrefertowhatyoucanseeorhearaboutanindividual'sbehavior,whileinferences refertotheassumptionsandinterpretationsyoumakefrom whatyouseeorhear.Focusonwhat thepersondidandyourreaction. Forexample:"WhenyougavethatstudenttheFinancialAidform,youtosseditacrossthe counter,"ratherthandescribewhatyouassumetobetheperson'smotivation,"Isupposeyou giveallformsoutthatway!" 4.Focusonbehaviorratherthantheperson Refertowhatanindividualdoesratherthanonwhatyouimaginesheorheis.Tofocuson behavior,useadverbs,whichdescribeaction,ratherthanadjectives,whichdescribequalities. Forexample:"Youtalkedconsiderablyduringthestaffmeeting,whichpreventedmefrom getting tosomeofthemainpoints,"ratherthan"Youtalktoomuch." 5.Provideabalanceofpositiveandnegativefeedback Ifyouconsistentlygiveonlypositiveornegativefeedback,peoplewilldistrustthefeedbackandit willbecomeuseless. 6.Beawareoffeedbackoverload. Selecttwoorthreeimportantpointsyouwanttomakeandofferfeedbackaboutthosepoints.If youoverloadanindividualwithfeedback,sheorhemaybecomeconfusedaboutwhatneedsto beimprovedorchanged. Forexample:"Thenumberofapplicantsandthetimeittakesyoutoenterthem arebothwithin theexpectedranges.Thenumberofkeyingerrorsyouarecurrentlymakingishigherthan expected." Givingfeedbackconstructivelybenefitseveryone.You,asthemanagerorsupervisor,usetheon- goingexchangeofinformationasawayofgettingtoknowyourpeopleandprovidingthem with valuableguidanceintheirwork.Theemployee,manager,supervisor,orpeerreceivesdatathat makesthatmakesherorhisjobgoeasier.Theorganizationgainsinimprovedproductivityofits workforce. THE SIX STEP METHOD FOR GIVING CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK Step1:Statetheconstructivepurposeofyourfeedback. Stateyourpurposebrieflybyindicatingwhatyou'dliketocoverandwhyit'simportant.Ifyouare initiatingfeedback,thisfocuskeepstheotherpersonfrom havingtoguesswhatyouwanttotalk about.Iftheotherpersonhasrequestedfeedback,afocusingstatementwillmakesurethatyou directyourfeedbacktowardwhatthepersonneeds. Forexample: "Ihaveaconcernabout." "IfeelIneedtoletyouknow." "Iwanttodiscuss." "Ihavesomethoughtsabout." Step2:Describespecificallywhatyouhaveobserved. Haveacertaineventoractioninmindandbeabletosaywhenandwhereithappened,whowas involved,andwhattheresultswere.Sticktowhatyoupersonallyobservedanddon'ttrytospeak forothers.Avoidtalkingvaguelyaboutwhattheperson"always"or"usually"does. Forexample: "Yesterdayafternoon,whenyouwerespeakingwithMrs.Sanchez,Inoticedthat youkeptraisingyourvoice." Step3:Describeyourreactions. Explaintheconsequencesoftheotherperson'sbehaviorandhowyoufeelaboutit.Give examplesofhowyouandothersareaffected.Whenyoudescribeyourreactionsorthe consequencesoftheobservedbehaviors,theotherpersoncanbetterappreciatetheimpacttheir actionsarehavingonothersandontheorganizationorteam asawhole. Forexample: "ThestaffmemberlookedembarrassedandIfeltuncomfortableaboutseeingthe episode.""Shoutingatourstudentsisnotacceptablebehaviorinthis department." Step4:Givetheotherpersonanopportunitytorespond. Remainsilentandmeettheotherpersonseye,indicatingthatyouarewaitingforanswer.Ifthe personhesitatestorespond,askanopenendedquestion. Forexample: "Whatdoyouthink?" "Whatisyourviewofthissituation?" "Whatareyourreactiontothis?" "Tellme,whatareyourthoughts?" Step5:Offerspecificsuggestions. Wheneverpossiblemakeyoursuggestionshelpfulbyincludingpractical,feasibleexamples. Offeringsuggestionsshowsthatyouhavethoughtpastyourevaluationsandmovedtohowto improvethesituation.Evenifpeopleareworkinguptoexpectedstandards,theyoftenbenefit from ideasthatcouldhelpthem toperform better. Ifyourfeedbackwasofferedsupportivelyorneutrally,inthe"foryourinformation"mode,or dependingonthesituation'scircumstances,suggestionsmaynotbeappropriate.Useyour commonsenseandofferanideaifyouthinktheotherpersonwillfindituseful.Don'tdrum upa suggestionforimprovementjustforthesakeofit. Forexample: "Jennifer,Isometimeswritemyselfnotesorputupsignstoremindmyselftodo something." "Jill,ratherthantellingEdthatyou'renotinterestedinallthedetails,youmighttry askinghim specificquestionsabouttheinformationyouaremostinterestedin." Step6:Summarizeandexpressyoursupport Reviewthemajorpointsyoudiscussed.SummarizetheActionitems,notthenegativepointsof theotherperson'sbehavior.Ifyouhavegivenneutralfeedback,emphasizethemainpointsyou havewantedtoconvey.Forcorrectivefeedback,stressthemainthingsyou'vediscussedthatthe personcoulddodifferently.Endonapositivenotebycommunicatingconfidenceintheperson's abilitytoimprovethesituation. Forexample:"AsIsaid,thewaythegrouphasfiguredouthowtocoverphonecallshasreally lessenedthenumberofphonemessagestobereturned.You'vereallyfollowedthroughona toughproblem.Pleasekeeptakingtheinitiateonproblemslikethat. Bysummarizing,youcanavoidmisunderstandingsandchecktomakesurethatyour communicationisclean.Thissummaryisanopportunitytoshowyoursupportfortheother person?awaytoconcludeevenannegativefeedbacksituationonapositivenote. Forexample: "Atleastweunderstandeachotherbettersincewe'vetalked.I'lldowhatIcanto makesureyourprioritiesarefactoredintotheschedule,andI'llexpectyouto comestraighttomeifthescheduleisaproblem. Note:InformationonRecognizingGoodPerformance,CharacteristicsofGoodRecognition,Coaching:AnApproachto SolvingPerformanceProblems,andGivingConstructiveFeedbackprovidedcourtesyofEnrollmentServicesTraining, StaffDevelopmentandtheWork-StudyOffice,BostonUniversity.

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