Have you ever caught yourself wondering why the feedback you give doesn’t stick??
When you have to repeatedly give someone feedback on the same behavior it could be for several reasons. Think back to the last person you gave advice to… Do they still exhibit the same behaviors? Did they not understand what you mean? Did they take it to heart? Did they fully understand what you were asking them to do?
One key to giving feedback effectively is to catch it early.
Our brains don’t like change. When we do something over and over, it becomes a habit and the neural pathways in our brains that fire to produce the behavior get stronger and stronger every single time. Changing this behavior requires breaking down this pathway and building a new one, which can be difficult to do.
So, when you catch something that deserves your feedback, give it as soon as possible — don’t wait until your quarterly review to give it! The longer the behavior continues, the harder it will be to change.
When you’re giving feedback, be sure to get specific.
If you are not specific with your feedback, you may be misunderstood or the other person may be unsure of the steps necessary to make changes.
You should also avoid general comments about behaviors. Instead, set aside some time to chat with them so that you can be detailed, provide examples, and explore alternative solutions with the other person.
As a leader it is your responsibility to empower others to be the best they can be — so taking the time to ensure that your feedback is thorough and opens the door for continuous support and growth of your employee is essential.
As you introduce your feedback, avoid blaming statements and remember that it is only your opinion. If you offer your advice in a way that places blame on the other person or make personal assumptions about why the behavior occurs, it may not be taken well.
To foster reciprocity, you should present the issue in a way that identifies the behavior, shows them how you feel about it, and identifies the consequences of the behavior continuing.
For example, saying something along the lines of “I noticed that you haven’t been on time to team meetings recently, and we have been covering some pretty important information. I am worried that if this continues you will fall behind.”
Focusing on the behavior and its consequences rather than the person themselves will make the other person more receptive, and it will provide the opportunity to work with on possible solutions.
By focusing on the behavior and not using “attack” words about the person or their character themselves, you are cultivating a safe and trusting space. When your employees feel they are in a safe space to be real humans, they are likely to remain loyal and work with more vigor. Not to mention it’s just simply the right thing to do as we engage with people on a human to human level.
So next time you need to offer some feedback, remember to do it quickly, cultivate a safe space, be as detailed as possible, and watch your employees not only grow professionally, but personally as well!
We give them a gift when we hold them to a high standard that we know they can accomplish. It empowers them to be the best version of themselves they can possibly be! And quite frankly, there isn’t a whole lot in life that is more rewarding, in my opinion, than having even just a tiny hand in encouraging someone’s growth!!!
If you feel your team is stuck in a space that is having a hard time implementing this into your organization, please reach out to us. We transform even the most challenging teams into cohesive, cooperative and collaborative teams that actually enjoy being around each other!
Call us today!
Brenda Lee is a Leadership Development and Team Building expert to some of the world’s most exciting entrepreneurs and professionals who have all the trappings of success but have hit a barrier they are ready to breakthrough.