The Simple Guide for Giving Feedback Successfully

It’s not our favorite thing to do (or receive), but feedback is an essential ingredient of being a leader. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or just working in an office, it’s often necessary to take control of the feedback steering wheel to drive your team towards success.

Thankfully, there are some easy ways to make feedback less dreaded and more inspiring. Here are some tips for giving feedback successfully:

Don’t forget the positive

When you’re busy, it’s tempting to just give direction when something is going wrong. However, Harvard studies indicate that even poorly performing teams can benefit immensely when positive feedback is thrown in the mix. Quite simply, when your team or colleagues know what they’re doing right (even if it’s something tiny), they’ll continue to move in that direction and the success will amplify.

Be specific

Telling someone they’re doing “a bad job” isn’t just pessimistic, it’s a time sink for both of you. Feedback like this makes me cringe, because in almost every case, if someone knew how to do a better job, they would. That’s why one of the most important tips for giving feedback successfully is to make it actionable. So the next time you need to deliver not-so positive pointers, ask yourself if there’s anything the receiver can act on.

Act quickly

Many firms make the mistake of waiting until a feedback bucket fills, and then dumping it on their team all at once. This not only lets problems fester and grow, but also creates an overwhelming sudden demand for change that’s near-impossible to adapt to.

Instead of drowning my employees in a sea of feedback, I deliver it in spoonful’s weekly or daily – and you should too, even if you can only spare a minute of two for it. No matter how busy you are, it’s worth the investment.

If you liked this advice, check out more of my tips in Inc. Magazine. If you have any feedback tips of your own, I’d love to hear them!