“If you cannot say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Growing up, we have probably heard that line being repeated over and over again by our parents. In Asia, people tend to avoid giving feedback, fearing that it might hurt the other party’s feelings. Yet effective feedback is a critical part in any organization’s ability to drive and improve performance.
This is why it is important to give feedback effectively. Below are some tips to help you provide feedback at the workplace:
1. Don’t beat around the bush
Confront the colleague associated with the incident once it has been witnessed. Speak in private, but be fact-based and avoid generalities. For example, “Our agreed timeline was 12 noon, but your email was at 130pm,” as opposed to “You are always late!”
2. State how the incident made you feel
Tell the other party how the incident has made you feel as a result of his or her actions. The receiving party is not in a position to deny the fact of how you feel. For example, if your colleague was late for work, inform your colleague that he or she made you feel anxious and concerned about the impact to the company and its client.
3. State future actions
Discuss with the colleague on the things that he or she can do to prevent the incident from happening again. In the example above, you can ask your colleague to give you a call to inform the team that he or she will be in the office a little later that day.
In addition to giving feedback, it is essential to receive feedback to help you see where you stand in terms of work performance. Some of the things that you should do when receiving feedback include:
1. Keep an open mind
Avoid getting defensive and wait until it is time for you speak to explain your situation to ensure that both of you are on the same page.
2. Establish future goals and action plan that can help improve your performance
Discuss with your supervisor to help you identify the things that you need to do to improve work performance and advance your career. These goals can be as simple as clocking in early for work and completing projects on time.
On a lighter note, these tips has also been proven to be effective in communication amongst spouses and significant others. 😉