It is critical to ensure that the timing of the feedback is right, as it would determine how well your feedback is accepted. The sooner the feedback is shared, the better it is as the recipient would know exactly what he/she did, what are the repercussions of those actions, and what measures need to be taken to resolve the situation.
It is best to schedule a time for the discussion, as it would give the recipient an ample amount of time to prepare themselves mentally for the discussion. This way, they will have more time to prepare for it and will enable the discussion to be more constructive.
• Choice of Words
It is best to begin feedback with the positives, and then gradually move towards the area of challenge(s). If you begin with corrective feedback right at the beginning of the conversation, the receiver might become defensive and could become non-receptive to the feedback.
Begin with the positive feedback of the person, which would help them open up to you and recognize that you are noticing their efforts too. Positive feedback acknowledges the efforts of the employee and boosts their morale. Be specific while sharing examples of what the recipient did well.
Let the recipient know the positive impact of their contributions to the department/organization, so they understand the results. This also lets them know that you notice it and appreciate it.
You then gradually move towards sharing the corrective feedback.
Some phrases which can be used at the beginning of the corrective feedback:
- I noticed that…
- I understand that…
Such beginnings show that for you, the behavior is the challenge and not the person.
• Share Facts and Be Descriptive
Discuss the situation or action in detail, but don’t discuss what you feel. Focus on the situation, describe it, and stay objective. Give a reason why it's a challenge and state the impact it had on others, or the organization, or the client.
Stating facts and remaining objective ensures that the recipient sees you as who has great control of their emotions and are thorough professionals.
• Collaborate on Ideas for Improvement
It's not necessary for you to come up with the solution, although you can offer suggestions that you believe would be helpful. Involve the recipient in this crucial part of the feedback process. This way, the recipient feels involved in the decision-making process, takes ownership of the situation, and will ensure greater commitment to see that it gets implemented.