The importance of giving constructive feedback
There are a lot of perks to being a project manager. But on the flip side, you have to handle the dreaded job of giving feedback from time to time. The job can be quite daunting at times, especially considering nobody wants to look like the bad guy!
Irrespective, it is a necessary evil, and you will have to do it, no matter how much you resist it. It is important to share honest, progressive feedback in a healthy manner, because that’s the only way team members can recognize the shortcomings in their work and improvement themselves.
Here’s how you can give feedback in a constructive way without breaking a sweat.
Jot down hard facts to back up your observations
So you want to share something. Do you have enough data and information to backup your views and support the feedback? Be sure to write down all of your points before you discuss them. Doing so is important, because this practice will avoid unnecessary arguments from happening. You have solid proof supporting that something wasn’t done in the way it was supposed to be done.
Take care of the timing
Timing is crucial while sharing feedback. Make sure that the timing is correct. It is better to share things with team members right after they have made some mistake or the moment you make an observation. Being quick in your response will put the listener in a better position to make things more relatable.
Let the saner heads prevail
Avoid giving feedback when you are already stressed out or feeling frustrated. That might make things unnecessarily complex. Make sure you as well as the person with whom the feedback is to be shared are in the right frame of mind.
If there are some pressing matters at hand that are already being dealt with, then wait for the heat to cool off and then make a move. Don’t let the urgency of presenting your point overrule the saner side of your head. Wait until the timing is right!
Start the discussion with positive points
This is probably one of the most effective tips for times when you need to share some unfavourable feedback. Start with discussing the positive points first. Doing so has a lot of psychological implications. Firstly it will grab the attention of the listener and get him hooked to the conversation. Because, let’s face it, everyone loves to be appreciated. Once you have highlighted all the good things, that’s when you should move to discussing the shortcomings. It will also make him feel that not all of his work is being criticized and at the same time will soften the blow. The person will definitely take the criticism in a healthy and progressive way.
Don’t beat around the bush
Why waste your time and energy trying to say something which does not need that much of your time? Often managers try beating around the bush, before they actually come to the real point. Don’t do that. Just get to the point. Beating around the bush may leave the person feeling puzzled. That’s why it’s wiser just to jump into what really needs to be said.
Take care of the physical setting
Where you share the feedback is equally important. You might want to stick to a one-on-one conversation for feedback, and do that in person. The ideal arrangement is to praise the person in public, and criticize in person. Stick to this golden rule if you want to avoid looking like the bad guy. It’s quite possible that after sharing some negative points or flaws in the work, the person might end-up feeling bad. Do discuss flaws and shortcomings in person in order to save the person from feeling belittled, or humiliated in front of others.
Watch out for the tone of voice
It’s important that you give feedback strictly from a professional point of view. Avoid your personal views about the person from coming in the way of discussion. Your facial expressions and tone of voice say it all. Your body language, gestures, facial expressions – all these things should be in harmony. Sometimes your facial gestures don’t match with the words coming from your mouth. It mostly happens when we let our preconceived notions about an individual affect our judgement about their work. Don’t do that. Try to maintain a professional tone while sharing the feedback.
Keys to having a successful team
Sharing feedbacks and consistent communication are the keys to healthy functioning and successful teams. Do start incorporating these tips if you want your team to channelize their potential to the fullest all the while keeping them motivated and productive.
Author Bio :
Shikha Menwal is a writer for ProofHub, an advanced online project management software. She has a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences and writes on topics ranging from lifestyle to technology and management. In her free time she loves to watch comedy shows and read spiritual journalism.
You can discover more about ProofHub by visiting the following page on their website.