How To Provide Constructive Feedback in 6 Simple Steps

There is no doubt that providing constructive feedback could be one of your most invaluable skills. Here we take a detailed look at the 6 step process of providing constructive feedback in the workplace.

Step 1: Provide constructive purpose of your feedback
The best way to get started is by providing the purpose, specifying the areas that would be covered and state why they are important. If you require a feedback, this can provide a clue to the other person on your conversation flow. If the other person needs a feedback, a central statement may be the best way to directly put across your feedback to them. Always be clear and get straight to the point.
For example: “I have a concern about” “ I feel I need to know”. “ I want to discuss.” and “ I have some thoughts about.”

Step 2: State your specific observations
Have a particular event in mind and ensure to provide all the essential details of the place, person, timing and the final result of the process. Always stick to the facts based on personal observations rather than supporting others. Don’t provide vague explanations related to a person’s behaviour.
For example “Yesterday afternoon, when you were speaking with customers, I noticed that you kept raising your voice.”

Step 3: Describe your reactions
Describe the effects of the other person’s behaviour and your reaction towards it. Provide concrete examples to show how it affects you and the other people. This may be a positive way to let the opposite person understand things from other’s perspective and know how his actions may be affecting the entire team and the organisation.
For example: “The staff member looked embarrassed and I felt uncomfortable about seeing the episode.” “Shouting at co-workers is not acceptable behaviour in this department”

Step 4: Provide equal opportunity to share their response
Feedback is a two way process of communication, where the other person deserves a fair chance to put forth his views. Make an eye-to-eye contact with the person to show that you are looking for a response. If you don’t get any reply, make sure to ask an open-ended question.
For example” What do you think” “What is your view of this situation” “ What is your reaction to this?” “Tell me, what are your thoughts?”

Step 5: Provide practical suggestions
Use practical examples to make your suggestions more useful. This indicates that you have been able to come up with possible ways to improve the situation by doing a careful assessment. This can help people use your innovative ideas and perform better than their current levels.
For example: I sometimes write myself notes or colour-coded post-its to remind myself to do something, you might find it helpful too.” Or “During your next meeting, if you’re not interested in all the details, you might try only asking specific questions about the information you are most interested in.”

Step 6: Give a brief summary at the end
Provide a brief summary of the key points included in the discussion and lay emphasis on positive actions, rather than pointing out at the person’s negative behaviour. Stress on how things can be done in a better way to achieve the best outcome by summarising the discussion in the end. Make sure to end the discussion on a positive note to show confidence in their abilities to improve the situation.

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