What Really Matters When Providing Effective Feedback?

By, Cara Wade, PhD
Senior Vice President & Executive Consultant, Leadership Worth Following

There is no dispute that feedback can be a great tool for activating development or improvements across the board: people, projects and goals alike. In this blog post, the core elements of providing effective feedback will be reviewed.

Relationship Matters. The trend toward radical candor and creating a “high feedback culture” is rapidly increasing with companies like Netflix and Bridgewater Associates placing a premium on transparency as a winning strategy for performance. But the caveat often overlooked in the efforts to create a culture of feedback is that psychological safety must first be established. In other words, the provider of feedback must first earn permission to impact the recipient of feedback.

Feedback Model Matters. There are many models for giving feedback, each having their unique pros-and cons. Picking the right model for the situation critical for effectiveness. For example, often leaders mistakenly use the sandwich method for performance management as opposed to a behavioral feedback model which would be much more effective in that situation. Some of the more popular feedback models include:

  • The Sandwich
    • Compliment-Hidden Feedback-Compliment
  • Behavioral Feedback
    • Situation-Behavior-Impact-Alternative
  • Balanced Feedback
    • Stop-Start-Continue
  • The Pendleton Model of Feedback
    • Question-based: What went well? Confirm or add. What could be improved? Confirm or add.

Specificity Matters. In LWF’s review of thousands of development plans written by leaders across various organizations and industries, the most requested resource is ongoing feedback from others. Often missing, however, is more specificity about what feedback would be most helpful. For example, there is a big difference between a leader asking her team, “Any feedback for me?” and a leader who asks, “I’m working on my messaging on this topic. I’d appreciate hearing from you what landed well, and where you think some refinements would help.”

Personalization Matters. Similarly, the better you know your audience, the more specific and helpful your feedback is likely to be. Using a tool like the DRiV can be invaluable in understanding how to best approach feedback, coaching, and development of your team members. For example, if one team member is driven by recognition and creativity, effective positive reinforcement could include asking him to lead brainstorming sessions and praising his contributions. Alternatively, if a team member is driven more by personal connections with colleagues, you may motivate him by assigning more social tasks: organizing the upcoming team meeting; leading the next lunch-and-learn; helping onboard the newest team member; connecting with a mentor; etc.

DRiV Matters. The DRiV is a 20-minute assessment that measures an individual’s motives, values, and habits – their drivers. By understanding what drives and drains someone, you can better understand their behavioral tendencies. Armed with this understanding, you can be a much more insightful supervisor and coach, providing helpful, personalized feedback that accelerates their development!

To learn more about the DRiV, contact us: https://drivinsights.com/contact-a-driv-consultant-to-request-more-information/

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