In the middle of a project or long-term goal, it’s important to regularly give and receive team feedback. But how can your team share feedback in a supportive and effective way?
It is important that leaders master giving and receiving feedback in the performance measurement process. If leaders give or receive feedback ineffectively, the feedback process can completely derail and discourage a team. However, if a team has real ownership over a goal, corrective feedback can be the key to their success.
The feedback process is an essential component of accountability. Both leaders and their teams need accountability to keep everyone on the track to success, especially when the team needs to take action on a plan or goal.
It’s crucial to have a formal process for this. Following a straightforward and healthy performance measurement process is the key to adjusting your team’s performance as they work towards hitting a goal.
1. Delivering Feedback Training
Delivering feedback to your team is a crucial leadership skill. If you need to alter your team’s performance to hit goals or milestones, you should also have a process to adjust their performance respectfully.
Adjusting team performance can be a delicate matter. Feedback sessions can go badly if employees don’t feel that their employers are communicating or representing their work fairly.
If an employee feels a substantial amount of negative emotion around a feedback session (even one meant to help them perform better), it can negatively impact their performance, productivity, and well-being.
When giving feedback, be sure to share positive feedback with appreciation in addition to constructive feedback with suggestions for improvement. When possible, deliver this feedback in real-time so that team members can change their performance accordingly.
Employees and employers alike can ensure that feedback discussions go smoothly by following the recommendations below.
a. Make it a Private Conversation
When giving feedback on an individual’s performance, don’t make the information public, even if the feedback is mostly positive. Doing so puts the employee in a vulnerable position and may embarrass them or make them feel like you have violated their privacy. Ensure that you do not mix compensation discussions with performance reviews during this feedback, or employees may lose your message.
When critiquing the performance of an entire team, refer to the team as a whole so that no one feels singled out. On strong and supportive teams, members may volunteer to receive feedback on their performances. This openness to criticism indicates that team members feel safe enough to ask for feedback and take the initiative in improving their performance.
b. Use Emotional Intelligence
Feedback sessions tend to go well when a leader uses emotional intelligence throughout a discussion. Emotionally intelligent leaders can intuitively determine how to phrase their feedback and discern how much feedback a team member can handle in a given session. Emotional intelligence allows leaders to read a room to ensure each meeting is productive.
To nurture emotional intelligence, leaders must learn to provide feedback with empathy. Keeping the team’s ego in check is vital because a destroyed ego will rarely produce high-quality work. Use empathy to make team members feel valued during performance feedback sessions.
c. Ask for Their Reflections
It’s possible that a leader and their team members will not be on the same page, so it’s a good idea to ask team members to reflect on their performance. Ideally, leaders will ask team members to reflect before or along with them as they share their own feedback.
This is a good time to validate the team’s feelings and reinforce their self-corrections. If a team is all on the same page about a goal or project, the leader may end up having to do very little to keep them aligned. By taking team feedback into account, leaders can validate team members’ feelings, and then offer their perspective.
2. Receiving Feedback Training
For many people, receiving feedback is difficult. The ego tends to reject feedback at first. It engages the fight or flight response because it feels that it is being attacked. The training to remain open to feedback is crucial.
The best leaders ask for feedback. In fact, taking the initiative to get feedback from the team is essential since team members will rarely volunteer this information. Here are some things to keep in mind during feedback sessions:
a. Keep an Open Mind
It’s completely possible that leaders and their teams will not see eye to eye on everything. Leaders and team members may be surprised at pieces of feedback that emerge in a conversation, but that doesn’t mean the feedback isn’t valid.
Effective leaders serve as a compass or a guide for the team, and they ultimately benefit when they share ownership of a team with other team members.
b. Aim for Progress
Improvements don’t have to be made overnight, and leaders must learn how to get comfortable with being imperfect. As long as they are consistently improving their leadership, the team will be satisfied. It’s more important for leaders to show that they’re making an effort to be more effective without covering up their mistakes or shortcomings.
c. Listen and Implement
Ignoring employee feedback is perhaps the worst thing a leader can do. Leaders must practice active listening while understanding their team’s point of view. Show that you mean to do better as a leader and take action for improvement.
By implementing feedback, leaders will set an example for the rest of their team. If leaders are unwilling to do anything they ask their team to do, constructive and supportive feedback sessions will not be possible.
The Bottom Line
Following a straightforward and healthy performance measurement process is the key to adjusting your team’s performance as they work towards hitting a goal.
Ultimately, giving and receiving feedback should be a two-way street that helps your team move your organization forward. By adopting a healthy attitude towards feedback, everyone involved in a feedback session will be open to giving and receiving criticism that might improve their job performance. While everyone loves to hear what they are doing well, leaders who privately discuss with their team members how those individuals can improve their performance demonstrate to them that their work is valued enough to encourage performance development.
For more resources for you and your team, download our free ebook, The 10 Step Arootah Success Formula.
Do you have a performance measurement process for your team? Let us know in the comments below!