Giving feedback isn’t easy, but it’s a leadership necessity and a primary coaching tool. Don’t let the fear of having a difficult conversation, or being disliked stop you from developing your team. Use these three guidelines to overcome your resistance and deliver feedback that helps to develop your team:
- Don’t wait. If you delay feedback, you will dilute its impact. Give it soon after you observe the behavior that needs to change. If you’re still resistant, try to practice giving the feedback to a trusted friend first.
- Be specific about the behavior and its impact. Don’t make people guess what you’re trying to say. Instead of, “You didn’t talk much in today’s meeting.” You might say, “I noticed you spoke up only once during the meeting. If we don’t hear about the production problems, we might miss our deadline.”
- Listen to the person’s response. Be prepared for all types of reactions. Allow for emotions and reflect back what you hear without judgment.
These guidelines will not only help you avoid mistakes but will make it safe for the person who’s receiving the feedback.
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