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The 7 Essential Qualities of Effective Feedback

https://zapier.com/blog/how-to-give-effective-feedback/

zapier.com

The 7 Essential Qualities of Effective Feedback
"Giving feedback turns out to be the unnatural atomic building block atop which the unnatural skill set of management gets built," wrote Andreessen Horowitz co-founder and venture capitalist Ben Horowitz. Despite being the number one driver of our personal and professional development, effective and actionable feedback can be incredibly hard...

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Why Feedback Goes Wrong

  • Strong emotions on both sides;
  • A focus on character rather than on behavior;
  • A lack of clarity about what needs to change and why;
  • Negative or critical feedback threatens not only our self-esteem but also our basic need for safety and security;

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Right vs. Wrong reasons to give feedback

Right vs. Wrong reasons to give feedback

Wrong reasons:

  • defend/excuse your own behavior;
  • to demoralize/condemn;
  • you're in a bad mood;
  • to appease a third party;

to make yourself seem superior/powerful

Right reasons:

  • commitment/concern for another;
  • sense of responsibility;
  • to guide/mentor;
  • to support/enhance.

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Effective Feedback is...

  • Specific, Timely, Meaningful, and Candid;
  • Goal-oriented;
  • Focused on the future;
  • Focused on the process, not the person;
  • Isn't afraid to be negative;
  • Can be positive;
  • Doesn't assume it's right.

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"Effective feedback requires that a person has a goal, takes action to achieve the goal, and receives goal-related information about his or her actions."

Grant Wiggins

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"Information becomes feedback if, and only if, I am trying to cause something and the information tells me whether I am on track or need to change course."

Grant Wiggins

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Manager Tool’s Feedback Model

A simple template for giving effective feedback that ensures you’re hitting all the right points, that goes like this:

  1. Ask to give feedback.
  2. Tell them "You did X. It caused Y."
  3. If you’re giving positive feedback, say "Good job."
  4. If you’re giving negative feedback, tell them how they should adjust their actions in the future.

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Leo Babauta

"Never criticize the person. Always criticize the actions. And when you’re making suggestions, make suggestions about actions, not about the person."

Leo Babauta

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Negative vs. Positive Feedback

Positive feedback isn’t the best way to drive results and negative feedback isn’t actually all that bad:
  • Any negative feedback should be clear and timely yet not so harsh as to be pe...

For feedback to be effective...

  • Be Specific;
  • Be Immediate: you wait too long, it can have less impact and make it harder for the person to grasp exactly what needs changing;
  • Tie Feedback to Goals: it gives the receiver a clear goal to work towards and reason why you’ve given them this feedback;
  • Ensure Feedback Is Actionable;
  • Use the Right Language;
  • Don't avoid it: when feedback is given openly and honestly, it can be extremely valuable for your organization.

Plussing

Is a way to provide feedback and critique without creating fear or negative feelings, branded by the animation studio Pixar. 

Imagine an art director giving feedback to an animator on some sketches for Pixar’s next blockbuster movie and instead of saying something like “but the characters expression is all wrong,” they’ll frame it using more encouraging and creative words like and or what if: “what if we could make their expression more (enthusiastic, brazen, etc).

Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is a more important component of the feedback cycle than positive feedback. 92% of people say in a study that negative feedback improves workplace performance.

Why are people scared of Feedback

Normally people react with caution and fear towards negative feedback, but it is much better than no feedback at all.

Informing the colleague/subordinate/client/customer or individual about something that is not working, is always beneficial, and builds transparency and trust.

Check how it impacts the person

The fundamental goal of giving feedback is to help the person you’re giving it to. They should realize that you are not trying to make them feel bad, and this is an exercise to help make them better.

How it impacts each individual is going to be different so a tailor-made approach is required. 

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The "why" of feedback

The purpose of giving feedback is to improve the situation or the person's performance. You won't accomplish that by being harsh, critical or offensive.

You'll likely get much more fro...

Timing of the feedback

The closer to the event you address the issue, the better. 

And it's much easier to provide feedback about a single, one-hour job that hasn't been done properly than it is to do so about a whole year of failed, one-hour jobs.

But if the situation involved is highly emotional, wait until everyone has calmed down before you engage in feedback

Make it regular

Informal, simple feedback should be given much more often than this – perhaps every week or even every day, depending on the situation.

It's not a once-a-year or a once-every-three-month event. Though this may be the timing of formal feedback.