Giving feedback can be difficult. Here's a step by step process to help make it easier for you to give feedback about sensitive issues.
Goal – What is your goal when giving this feedback? If you want someone to arrive on time for a meeting, focus on that as an outcome. Getting an apology for being late may feel like a good outcome, but will it change anything for next time?
Plan – Make sure you rehearse what you are going to say. Think of the right words in advance. Consider asking for permission to give the feedback. Are you the right person to deliver the feedback? Also, think of the timing. When is the best time to deliver this message? Often “in the moment” feedback can be very powerful. (” I notice that you are late to the meeting.”)
Make it Fast – Make your feedback Factual, Accurate, Straightforward and Timely. Ensure you have the facts straight before you tackle the issue, and keep your feedback succinct. Try to say what you need to in the most simple and straightforward way. Long winded feedback is uncomfortable, so keep it brief and to the point.
Listen – Get ready for a reaction. Be prepared to let the person respond without interruption. Use active listening – "It must be difficult to have so many demands on your time. What options do we have to make sure this doesn’t happen again for our next meeting?"
Lastly, finding the right words can make giving feedback much easier. Here are some suggested sentence starters for giving feedback. You can use these for a variety of situations.
When you… (are late for our meetings)
I think… (that you don’t value my time)
That makes me feel… (concerned about the success of the project)
I notice that you… (are late for our meetings)
I feel … (frustrated)
Because … (my time is being wasted)
How do you see it?
What can we do about that?
Kirsty Janney - My Executive Coach - Personalised Coaching Solutions - I work with individuals, managers and their teams to improve performance at work every day. For a confidential discussion about your coaching requirements, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org