How do you give feedback?

I love the business of business.  Whenever I am in a café or a restaurant I sit and think of little ways they could improve and get more clients.  If I have a bad customer service experience, I always politely give the feedback to the right people to help them out.  It is my good deed for the day and I quite enjoy it.

Most people accept the feedback well, as long as I deliver it in a non-confrontational way and I focus on the positive as much as possible.

This is also something that I really focus on when managing team members.  There comes a time; no matter how awesome your employee is; that a reprimand is in order.  Too many bosses go down the old path of shouting at, and humiliating team members in front of others.  All this achieves is to create a bad reputation for you and does not go towards improving anything.

Before you approach your team member to reprimand them ask yourself these quick questions:

  1. What is the desired outcome of this chat?  What am I trying to fix?
  2. What type of personality does the team member have – what have they responded well to in the past?
  3. How would I react to this reprimand?
  4. What positives can I find in the team members recent performance to ensure that the feedback is taken as constructive criticism and not “getting in trouble”?
  5. Is this under performance something that I have allowed in the past?

The technique I use is to firstly plan how I am going to approach the team member.  Then I consider the timing so that I do not adversely affect performance.  Also, I think about their personality type and what language I should use to ensure I do not get a negative reaction.

If I have a think about these points before I approach the team member, I have a much better chance of them taking on board the feedback and adjusting their performance to ensure it does not happen again.

For more ideas on how to improve your team and your business, download our ProfitMAX toolkit on the right hand side of this page.