A meeting in which you want to give feedback to your supervisor? Are you a freelancer and do you have a client who is always late with his briefing? Or do you have a colleague who is talking too much during the meeting? How can you approach this? In this blog I tell you more about how to give feedback.
Start the conversation
Feedback is often somewhat delayed or not given at all, out of fear of hurting someone. However, feedback is valuable: it can be a way to compliment, encourage or adjust someone. Last year I had training in feedback and interview techniques. These are three important tips that have helped me in my professional (and private) life:
#tip 1: be prepared and constructive
If you want to give feedback, make sure you are prepared for the interview. Think in advance about what you want to say. Be honest and clear: stick to the facts and don’t be rude.
For example you could say: “the mailbox was a big mess after my vacation”, but what sounds better is: “there were seven emails in the mailbox, the deadline of which had already passed”. The latter variant is direct and clear, because you focus on the facts. Think about the purpose of your feedback and collect arguments that are concrete. By preparing, you also prevent that you “explode” and say things that you will regret later.
#tip 2: address behavior
A common error in giving feedback is that you criticize someone’s personality rather than the behavior that bothers you. Saying that someone is ‘messy’ is different from saying that a report is delivered in a messy way. In the first example, someone can feel attacked. In example number two you make an objective observation of a person’s behavior.
Also keep it close to yourself: describe the behavior and what effect this behavior has on you. For example: “you were late yesterday, so we were unable to brief with the entire team” instead of “you were late again this morning”.
#tip 3: make appointments
Finally, it is important to conclude this type of conversation with a clear agreement or concrete action. If you don’t make agreements, you have nothing to fall back on and the chance that you will become frustrated again is much greater. Let the other person come up with a solution. Do not demand a solution, but let the other person decide. As a result, the recipient of the feedback will be more inclined to adhere to the agreements and does not feel it is a forced requirement.
For example, if someone is always late with submitting assignments, this can have various causes. Maybe someone always starts working too late, but it is also possible that someone has structurally too much work. Let the recipient of the feedback decide for themselves whether the deadline should be set earlier or perhaps fewer assignments have to be accepted to reduce the workload.
Hopefully you will benefit from these tips! Remember that giving feedback is valuable and you get less frustration and more peace by just doing it!