Often, people dread hearing comments or feedback especially when it is about their performance. Some are just scared of hearing negative remarks and be told about their flaws or mistakes. In the same way, not a lot people are also comfortable providing their personal criticisms about the performance of others for fear of offending the person or not giving the right opinion.
To most people, the idea of giving and receiving feedback is automatically considered as negative. It is completely wrong notion to assume feedbacks as negative. In fact, feedback is not just about emphasizing on the weak and negative points; it is also about highlighting the positive comments, the achievements, and strong areas of the individual. The main purpose of delivering feedback and receiving one is to effect a positive change in the person whether in performance, actions, behavior, or manner of thinking.
The Mechanism of Feedback
More aptly applied and used in a professional setting, feedback is just one of the many different means of communicating with each other in a workplace. It is not a theory or an abstract thing; it is a personal approach and highly relevant to the feedback recipient. The sad truth is that people tend to think of feedback as a negative criticism more than complimentary.
People should realize that positive motivation and encouragement impacts a positive change and a better performance more than criticisms. That is why feedback must be characterized as constructive rather than destructive, well delivered rather than forced or in a threatening manner.
Feedback works in two ways: it may be given or provided, and received or asked. The person delivering the feedback is known as the evaluator, the assessor or reviewer. The one receiving it is the recipient or the reviewee. Both participants benefit and learn from each other through the feedback as the main tool for learning.
Providing or Giving Feedback
Giving feedback is not a casual task. It requires credibility and integrity of feedback content. You need to project that confidence and conviction during the delivery. Here are a few tips to demonstrate effective feedback giving:
- Have ample time for preparation. Be ready with your examples and data to illustrate your main points. Readily identify the person’s positive points and weak areas as well.
- Look for a suitable venue for the feedback session. A private spot free from unnecessary distractions is ideal for the session.
- Set a regular feedback-giving schedule. Make it a point to habitually provide feedback especially if you are in an office setting. This gives you and the members a chance to improve on work performance.
- Be clear and specific with your comments. Refrain from vague and too generalized opinions or comments especially if it is about performance. Make sure the recipient understands the little details of what needs to be kept consistent and what needs to be worked on.
- Do the “sandwich” method. This technique is considered to be the most effective in doing feedback. Start with the positive points to get the person motivated, then follow it up with the areas to work on and your recommendations for improvement, and wrap it up with a quick compliment or encouraging remark.
Receiving or Asking for Feedback
One important consideration to make when you are the recipient of the feedback is your attitude or behavior towards it. Reacting to comments negatively will not impact an effective change. You might want to follow these tips:
- Be a good and active listener. Avoid unnecessary interruptions while your evaluator is still giving your feedback.
- Ask questions and seek for clarification instead of making prejudices and wrong interpretations. If you think that the feedback lacks details to support it, ask for certain examples to prove the matter.
- Stay calm all throughout the session. Take control of your emotions. There may be comments or criticisms that can trigger your anger so just avoid emotional leakage. You will have time to deal with your emotions. Keep your focus on the feedback itself and personally reflect on them.
- Ask for feedback and do not just wait to be given one. Knowing more about your areas for improvement prompts you to deal with them and become a better performer.