A 7 step plan to deliver feedback
The best way to deliver feedback
It is not always easy to deliver feedback, but it is an essential part of any job, especially in a leadership role. These seven steps will help you to deliver feedback in the most constructive way possible.
Many people struggle to deliver feedback. Not the good news feedback, because everyone loves doing that. But giving the “less than favourable” type of feedback is something that many women struggle with. They are not keen to deliver feedback which is in anyway negative or could produce an emotional response.
But very often a decision not to deliver feedback has significant consequences on team morale or even individual personal relationships. If you fear giving sensitive news or negative feedback, then follow this 7 step plan to deliver feedback.
Step 1 - Wait until you are calm
If there is an issue that has been bugging you for a while, don’t wait until you are ready to explode. A good test is if your pulse is raised, wait. Get into business neutral. Ask for some time to discuss an important/troublesome issue a couple of days ahead. This puts the recipient in a preparative state of mind.
Step 2 - Do you need to ask permission?
If you are the boss, you definitely don’t have to ask for permission. But if it is with a friend or a colleague or someone you have no authority over, it is a wise move. If the recipient is not open to receiving feedback, you have two options. Carry on and deal with the fall out or withdraw. If you decide to pursue, explain that it’s an important issue for you and ask them to listen, but understand they are not obliged to engage. In any normal balanced professional situation, this is unlikely to happen. If the exchange becomes emotionally charged you probably have a more deep-seated issue on your hands.
Step 3 - State the facts
Just give the facts. “I am responsible for collating the division’s weekly budget with a deadline of Friday at noon. When you submit your return at 1700 it means that I have to work in the evening to meet the deadline.”
Sometimes when you need to deliver feedback, you can find that your confidence in making the point is the issue. But don't worry, you can improve. 3Plus can help with our Returner Roll-Up Session on Building your Confidence.
Step 4 - Ask for confirmation
If you have given an accurate factual account, they should agree. Ask if that seems reasonable to them.
Step 5 - Ask for a commitment to change
Explain that what you are looking for is a commitment to change a behaviour. As a boss you can insist. As a colleague you can ask. But you can suggest that you will escalate the issue if necessary.
Step 6 – Explain your experience
Find out what’s going on for the individual. Is there a real problem or is it just attitude or lack of competence? Show empathy but make it clear that you experience this as disrespect of your time and disruption of your schedule. As a boss you will need to look deeper at potential reasons for any consistent missing of deadlines. Is it organisational structure or individual competence? Maybe a coach can help.
Step 7 - Thank and commit
Thank and commit to a behaviour change. If you are the boss, you need to monitor it and let the person know you will revert if they slip back. If you need to take any action regarding coaching or any organisational matters confirm that in writing.
A flexible strategy
Difficult conversations are among the toughest calls for many women. This 7 step plan can be used in any tricky situation when you need to deliver feedback with care. Practise and substitute the missing a deadline scenario with:
• Being expected to give free advice rather than charge for consulting/coaching
• Someone who is always late for meetings
• A colleague who eats lunch at her desk and stinks out the office
• A peer who conference calls in an open plan office without headphones or going to a meeting room
It’s all about practise, practise, practise!
Does your team need coaching support on how you give feedback? Contact 3Plus now!
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Dates for the Diary
November 12th European Commission DG GROW
Informal talk on how to deal with sexism - 12.30 - 1400
November 25th Council of the European Union - Corporate Event
How to deal with sexism and harassment in the workplace
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Create an Effective USP What is a USP? Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why...read more
Menopause in the workplace In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life,...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
Sexism: How to stage a Bystander Intervention in the Workplace In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
We use it casually every day, but now we need to work out the best social media etiquette for professional use. Remember, your whole reputation could be gone with just one click.read more
Many companies are hoping to attract more female candidates to their top positions, so why do they continue to create male-coded job adverts?read more
We need to start looking more seriously into why women aren’t getting promoted. They start with the same education as men, so what changes?read more