Feedback is an effective tool to use in different context, highly useful in training activities, team buildings but also organizational teams and business. The whole purpose of offering feedback is to help people change by reinforcing positive behaviors or improving negative ones. The list below will help you structure your feedback for any situation that requires it.
1. Identify the problem clearly Invest your time in assessing the situation and identifying the problem. Is this an isolated event or does this problem affect more areas and in a repetitive style? How does this need influence his/her performance? How does this need affect the rest of the team?
2. Select a time and a place Selecting an appropriate environment to give feedback is highly important. Feedback should be given in person and in private, without any disruptions or interference from the outside. You should first explain your reasons for offering feedback and that it is in her/his best interest.
3. Setting the stage Explain that feedback focuses on a specific behavior and not on the person as a whole, and should not be taken as an attack, insult or negative criticism. Ask him/her to keep an open mind and not become defensive, even though you know it is difficult to listen.
4. Describe the behavior Focus on the observations you have regarding a specific behavior. Feedback is not a judgment but rather a description of events where you have seen that specific behavior.
5. Make your case These observations are not interpretations or conclusions, just facts that affect you/your team/organization. Explain how this behavior is influencing his/her peers.
6. Hold your ground By this point, he/she will react to your speech and either tries to end this discussion by making excuses about the behavior or will accept your arguments, and will commit to changing. If the second scenario occurs you may skip to number 10, if not continue with the following points.
7. Explore the situation Before you can move further you need to understand the exact context in which this behavior appears, what is the true nature of this demeanor. He/she will try to find explanations and interpretations of how they see the situation.
8. Outline the positive consequences People usually react to positive reinforcements that detail how they are beneficial to him/her. This is the moment when you should describe how adjusting this specific behavior will not only bring benefits to him/her, but also to the ones around him/her.
9. Outline the negative consequences If the positive reactions are not enough to convince him/her, you have to have to resort to explaining the negative reinforcements and punishments that are going to affect him/her. Do not sound threatening; just state the usual consequences this type of behavior usually has!
10. Plan for change The final step should describe a clear commitment to change or improvement and a clear plan on how to achieve this goal. Set deadlines to check if he/she is following the plan and commit yourself to helping him/her attain his/her objective.
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