Giving Feedback: That uncomfortable part of a leadership


I believe most people come to work with positive intentions to do a good job, but every now and then you get that employee who will try and push the envelope a little too much. An important part of a Manager’s role is to give employees feedback when their behaviour is inappropriate. 

Whether they are coming to work late, leaving early, spending too much time on the internet or personal cell phone while at work, dressing inappropriately, being abrupt with others, not turning up to meetings…the list goes on. 

When a pattern starts to form of these negative behaviours, they need to be addressed right away.

No excuses, no putting it off.

If it isn’t addressed, it will continue, and it will start to affect the team and work environment.

Now, before we go any further, I want to clarify there is a time when the conversation needs to be a courageous learning conversation between two people, where the goal is to share assumptions and interpretations about the behaviour - but that’s for another blog post all together. 

This blog is about having the courage, and skill, to address unacceptable behaviours that aren’t up for negotiation, they simply need to stop.

And the team leader needs to address it. 

Here is a simple feedback formula that will help every time you give feedback on a negative behaviour:

1.    Create a safe space – put the person at ease, describe your intentions. 

2.    Describe the behaviour – be specific, not general. Share the facts, not assumptions.

3.    Describe the impact of their behaviour on you, the team and/or the organization.

4.    Provide an opportunity for dialogue about the behaviour, listen genuinely.

5.    Describe what you would like them to stop, start or continue doing.

6.    Offer support to help them if needed.

Giving negative feedback is not comfortable and certainly not easy. It takes planning and practice. When the emotion is taken out of the task, if it is done with positive intention of wanting to guide the employee to behave more appropriately, it is a win-win for all. 

I haven't discussed giving positive feedback in this blog, which is equally important and should be done continuously so that receiving feedback is part of the team norm. The formula can easily be followed for giving feedback on position behaviour as well. 

Employees want feedback from their leaders, it is up to the leaders to have the courage to provide it! 

Is there a team member you should be giving feedback to that you’ve been putting off?

Good luck, and if you need help, get in touch!

Jo-Anne.

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