Bill Gates once said, “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve”. As a people leader when you provide prompt, sincere and honest feedback to your people they will gain knowledge, develop skills, competencies, change their behavior and deliver superior performance. According to 1,400 executives polled by The Ken Blanchard Companies, failing to provide feedback is the most common mistake that leaders make and Kenneth Chenault said, “Regular feedback is one of the hardest things to drive through an organization”. Therefore to deliver superior performance and improve behavior of your team member you have to provide regular and effective feedback so let’s see below simple six steps A-D-V-I-C-E on how to give effective feedback to improve people job performance and behavior
A is for Assess
The first step to give effective feedback is to assess the individual performance and behavior. The performance of the individual should be assessed in terms of his specific behavior and actions demonstrated in the particular situation, event or instance. Assess the quantity, quality of work performed, actual results and outcome delivered in particular instance. Once you have assessed performance precisely, identify the strengths and areas of improvement then you are ready to provide positive feedback to appreciate the good work and constructive feedback to improve the performance of individual. As John E. Jones Once said, “What gets measured gets done, what gets measured and fed back gets done well, what gets rewarded gets repeated." So, right assessment is the first key to bring improvement in job performance and right behaviors of individual.
D is for Discuss
Second step to give effective feedback is to discuss ideas As Eleanor Roosevelt rightly said “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people”. Once you have assessed performance, behavior accurately and gathered specifics data and examples. Then it is the time to discuss on the specific areas of improvements in terms of behaviors and key actions. You need to discuss ideas to improve the behavior and performance. Discuss specific corrective and improvement actions. Discuss the root cause of gaps between desired and actual performance; discuss possible challenges, solution and options together to improve the performance. As W. Edwards Deming said "If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you are doing." However don’t indulge in transmitting general feelings, or impression or opinion which will be repulsive
V is for Validate
Third step to give effective feedback is to validate the inputs, insights, ideas and how they can help to improve the performance and deliver results. William James American Philosopher and Psychologist once said “True ideas are those that we can assimilate, validate, corroborate, and verify. False ideas are those that we cannot.” If you validate your inputs and insights it makes individual to reflect positively on the negative aspects as well and you will gain commitment and buy-in from individual to works on to improve performance and behavior otherwise they do not value your feedback .
I is for Involve
Fourth step to give effective feedback is to involve the individual in taking right decisions and actions to improve the performance and behavior. As Benjamin Franklin once rightly said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”. Let employee suggests a plan for improving performance in problem area, asking them right questions for instance – how do you think you should handle this sort of situation differently in future? If you involve in discussion many solutions, options and possible actions will evolve which in turn will helps individual to take ownership to improve the job performance and develop capabilities.
C is for Clarify
Fifth step to give effective feedback is to clarify the purpose and importance of task and give context on why it’s is important, clarify the scope of the responsibility, clarify situation, concerns, issues, questions, points of disagreement of the individuals. As Leo Szilard said “A scientist's aim in a discussion with his colleagues is not to persuade, but to clarify”. Once individuals get clarification it will infuse confidence and courage to any handle any situation or challenging task and builds individual self-esteem. Clarity, firmness and honesty are vital for performance improvement it will help to avoid any frustrations due to unexplained boundaries.
E is for Encourage
Sixth and last important step to give effective feedback is to encourage individual to perform better. A person who feels encouraged will always do more than is expected. As William Arthur Ward rightly remarked “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you”. So encourage people to take up higher responsibilities and challenges and support them to succeed. Provide sincere and positive feedback on accomplishments and encourage them to work on areas of improvements and they will not forgot your feedback.
A-D-V-I-C-E in short:
Feedback is very essential to develop knowledge, skills and competencies of an individual to achieve high level of performance. To give effective feedback first you to need to assess the gaps and areas of improvements and discuss the ideas, solutions and options to improve the performance; validate your insights and inputs; involve individual in taking decision and action; clarify their concerns and questions and at last encourage them to improve the performance and behaviors for individual and organization development. As Ken Blanchard said “Feedback is the breakfast of champions”. Effective feedback can improve performance, productivity, promote continuing professional and personal development, and moreover increase employee’s morale, self-esteem, and foster better interpersonal relationship with in team that can lead to excellence in organization. This is my word of A-D-V-I-C-E on how to give effective feedback.