Five Steps for Giving Productive Feedback

Growing your people requires just as much attention as growing your customers.  I’ve always felt that if you give a review and someone is surprised, you aren’t doing your job as a manager.

Author: Scott Halford

Source: Entrepreneur Magazine, 2012

It can be a delicate process, but assessing a person’s progress can lead to improvement and growth.

Giving feedback to your colleagues and employees provides them with an observer’s insight into how their performance is progressing, as well as advice to solve any problems. But, for a number of people, hearing the six words, “Can I give you some feedback?” generates fear and anxiety. The words go through a translator in our brain and are heard as, “Can I completely tear you down?” It can be perceived that the person giving the feedback is somehow superior to the person receiving it, putting the receiver on the defense.

While giving and receiving feedback can be a delicate process, there’s no doubting its value in helping to identify issues and solve them. Business owners should manage feedback in a positive way so that it can do what it’s intended to do: Help improve and grow your business.

Here are five tips that can get you on track to giving productive feedback:

1. Create safety. Believe it or not, people who receive feedback apply it only about 30% of the time, according to Columbia University neuroscientist Kevin Ochsner, who cited that research at the NeuroLeadership Summit in Boston. If the person receiving the feedback doesn’t feel comfortable, this can cause the feedback to ultimately be unproductive.

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