How to Give Constructive Feedback? Models and Tips

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How to Give Constructive Feedback? Models and Tips
Oufedjikh Hafida, Morocco, Member
I would like to gather methods and best practices on giving constructive feedback... Perhaps you are using a particular feedback model, or do you have other tips? Thanks!

Best Practices on Constructive Feedback
John Prpich, United States, Member
Conducting a performance coaching
1. Make it as immediate as possible
2. Have your facts - gather all the relevant information, such as:
- Specific behaviors - use behavioral statements to identify the issues
- Dates- when, where, what time
- Impact of behaviors on guests and other colleagues - how is their behavior effecting others
- Consequences-this is most often the step missed but the most critical
The other key in providing feedback is language and word choices, the right words can motivate and of course the wrong words can demotivate. For example, we teach individuals to say, "You would be more effective if you...". This is a positive approach to helping someone move forward or closer toward the goal or expectation.
The actual session would look something like this:
Performance coaching feedback session steps:
1. Describe what you know
2. Ask for the employees interpretation
3. Explain why it’s important to change
4. Working with the employee, develop a plan to improve
5. Summarize the conversation
6. Document.

Best Practices in Constructive Feedback
With aspirations of being an employer myself someday... I hope not to have too many formal feedback sessions... Since issues should be addressed on an ongoing basis, due to a management open door policy...
Constructive feedback... the discussion should be framed in a positive light... to begin with...
Outlining the contributions and strengths of the individual... Never say "you should," instead use terms such as "I suggest" or something similar when suggesting behaviors for change.
Constructive criticism must be presented with the understanding that all involved believe and will work to change the behavior..
Ongoing coaching could also be an element to change the behavior...
A situation arises if the individual believes they cannot, or they do not want to work at making constructive changes.

Colored Performance Measurements - Green, Yellow and Red
Javier Elenes, Business Consultant, Mexico, Member
Dear Mr. Hafida, my advise is to use colored performance measurement: green if they comply with their goal, yellow with a "minor" deviation versus the goal and red if the measurement has a "major" deviation versus the goal.
Tell to your people: " I can understand that you have some issues in yellow but it is l not OK that they turn to red. The idea is early detection of the yellow flag and do something to avoid it turns red.

Tips to Give Effective Feedback
roberto gerace, Teacher, Italy, Member
Certain rules belonging to an effective feedback are (with no regard to its positive or negative essence):
1. Be specific with facts. Avoid general conversation
2. Clarify your expectation, with regards to goals or standards. If necessary, state them again.
3. Be assertive. No complaining nor avoiding reality
4. Make it fast. There is no need for ambiguity
5. Listen to reaction, honestly
6. Thank for future effort.

Best Practices in Constructive Feedback
Prompt response is a common theme in constructive feedback.
I agree that listening and conveying honesty in seeing a win-win outcome for the organization and employee is essential.
I also agree with having the employee acknowledge the corrective steps that will be taken, and also contribute to a joint corrective plan that will be most effective for them to complete. If a corrective plan is created solely by management, then it is unlikely to be effective.

Best Practices in Constructive Feedback
Jayant Damle, Entrepreneur, India, Member
Technically, in a controlled system it is mathematically proven that feedback loops lead to improved output/outcomes.
We can create a feedback culture around us to enable a thick pipe for the feedback loop and the fundamental theme I believe in: think of feedback as a gift process... So give a gift of feedback and receive a gift of feedback!
We have realised very good managerial and leadership effectiveness improvements using the above two themes on feedback.
A technique we use to present feedback - EARS
E - Event
A - Action taken
R - Resultant outcome
Which observed in comparison with intent for the action becomes a rather powerful buy-in for the gift receiver.

Best Practices in Constructive Feedback
Norihan, Professor, Netherlands, Member
The best way of giving feedback depends on the type of task.
Some tasks may need scheduled feedback, face to face feedback or written feedback to keep records.
Some task just require verbal feedback or over the email.
No matter which task we are dealing with, the idea is this feedback is very important for the employer to ensure that all the tasks given to the employees are done appropriately and accordingly to the time frame and target.
The way of this "monitoring" also depends on the organizational culture and ethics that have been accepted in an organization.
Both parties need to understand their responsibilities well on every single duty that is given to them. Then the feedback becomes very easy and a win-win situation will be achieved.

Focus on Strengths
Tinus van der Merwe
Identify the performer's strengths (Marcus Buckingham has a very useful tool to use, see his book "Now, Discover Your Strengths: How to Develop Your Talents and Those of the People You Manage"). Focus on those and how to capitalize on them.
Of course, if the performer falls short on essential key competencies, just get him/her to a reasonable level, and then continue to focus on strengths. This approach steers one to a constructive approach to feedback, where one can follow all the excellent advice in this forum.

Performance Measurements Methods
Da Silva Alexandre, Brazil, Member
You need to discuss about facts, situations that happened and then I show a table created by me (Excel) with grades about each activity. That helps to avoid subjective issues.
I agree with everything writen above, but you need something measurable to aim the direction, not just words.

Best Practice in Constructive Feedback: Self-appraisal
Madan Gopal Agarwal, Business Consultant, India, Member
Self-appraisal & analysis is the best feedback method.
Once responsibility areas and criteria for assessment are agreed upfront, let there be a self-assessment every quarter. Give the benefit of doubt if there is minor gap with your assessment.
Review the criteria and make it more unambiguous if the gap is large.
Wherever self-assessment gives lower scores, let the self-analysis and action plan be developed by the person. The process will mature over a short period. Keep on raising the bar rather than confronting and pointing out poor results.

3 Possible Practices in Constructive Feedback
Prakob Chaibuntan, Teacher, Thailand, Member
3 ways of providing feedback
1. Use trustfulness
2. Emotional approach (reasoning, expertise and degree, authority, evidence)
3. Position power
I never use the 3rd one, often I use trustfulness and sometimes emotional approach through evidence and reasoning.

Giving Feedback in the Proper Way
Nicholas Virgilio, Coach, United States, Member
I view feedback as a gift someting that you give to someone because you care.
Either you want them to continue doing what they are doing (positive feedback) or you want them to improve or change their behavior (constructive behavior).
Either feedback requires that you be specific (identify specific behaviors that you observed or heard) timely (be given as soon as possible) and that you convey the impact of the behavior on the team, department organization.
When giving constructive feedback always make sure that the feedback is given in private and that the feedback deals with the behavior not the personality. It's not that the indiviudal is rude, it's that they interrupted you while you were speaking, it's not that they are lazy; it's that they did not meet their deadlines.
Also always remember to take a time out and cool down if you are angry. Try to be objective. Put yourself in the individual's shoes and ask yourself how you want to receive the feedback.

Feedback - How to Avoid Denial or Defend..
Eva Henriksson, Management Consultant, Hong Kong, Member
A very good way of giving feedback is to address how you feel about a certain behavior and how it impacts you. Your feeling is undeniable and can't be opposed. The person receiving your feedback has to listen and reflect.
A very simple example is the following: -"When you drive this fast I get scared and feel ill and I'm thinking that I don't want to ride in a car with you again". You could continue with: "Is there something you could do to make me less scared?"
In this example it's your feeling you're addressing and your feeling can't be denied or defended since it's yours and not the other persons.
In many cases this approach to giving feedback is very helpful, especially when people are in constant denial or defend stage and you find it hard to give constructive feedback without being opposed.

SBI Model for Giving Feedback
Hema, HR Consultant, India, Member
You could also use the famous SBI Model for sharing feedback:
Situation > Behaviour > Impact.
Describe the Situation including when and where, describe the specific Behaviour of the person (not your judgement but the actual behaviour) and then the Impact it created on you or on the team.
When using this approach, typically the person will be able to 'rewind the event like a videotape' and recall and understand what he or she did.

Giving Feedback Properly
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
Good feedback needs to be:
1. Specific / also inform about good performance
2. Focused on behavior not intentions
3. Sharing information and observations
4. Well timed
5. Message is effectively communicated.

10-Step Feedback Process
Oliver Bernhard, Student (MBA), Germany, Member
Give feedback as soon as possible.
Give feedback only on behaviour or knowledge.
A possible process of giving feedback:
1. Introduce the feedback and say what you are talking about.
2. Tell the member where and how he/she is well performing.
3. Highlight what was your appreciation in the past.
4. Highlight the stakeholders that are affected.
5. Tell what you think how the behaviour could be improved and in this way also give some positive information about the past.
6. Ask the member what he/she thinks about the feedback, possibly give him a chance to explain but if he says pardon (sorry), keep it short.
7. Describe a plan to improve what has to be improved.
8. Set markers together with team member how it can be measured and also set a timescale.
9. Say: "Thank you for discussion"
10. Measure the team member and possibly adapt markers.

Another 10-step Feedback process
George Belsom, Project Manager, United States, Member
Feedback is an ongoing process, but delivering proper feedback can be just as difficult as receiving constructive feedback.
After serving in the air force for 24 years and mentoring/developing leaders I find these simple rules to get started.
1. Notify the subordinate of the intended feedback
2. Let them know it’s either an annual feedback or an initial feedback
3. Make the time of the feedback in the near future.
4. Select a location that is private and allows for honest communication
5. Make the subordinate feel at ease when you begin
6. If this the initial feedback give them your expectations and your standards.
7. Have a plan of action by the time you end the session.
8. Before ending the feedback briefly reiterate what was discussed and set a follow up session
9. Close the session.
10. Follow up on the issues that were discussed at a later date.

Measureable Goals are Key
luckmore mutisi, Student (MBA), Zimbabwe, Member
For it to be effective both parties should agree on the goals which needs to be achieved. These goals should be measurable. If they are not it will be difficult to review them.
The key for successful review is goal setting, providing guidance during implementation and providing the adequate resources, so that the goals can be achieved.

Use Pluses and Deltas instead of Minus
Paris Law, Manager, Member
I like to use '+' pluses and 'Δ' delta during feedback sessions.
It allows a space for making a distinction between what was good and what can be improved upon.
Using a delta is an alternative to making things negative. Instead of focusing on it as a shortcoming, we can mark at an area for change. I will allow my team member to share his/her thoughts for each first, and then add what I notice after.
For performance appraisal, the method may change slightly depending on the number of performance areas and time constraints. If possible, going through each one is useful.

Be Kind, Ackowledge what Was Done Well First
Maria Montero, Coach, Venezuela, Member
Giving feedback is an artful critique according to Goldman. It's focusing on what the person can do better, AFTER acknowledging the things he has done great.
Harry Levinson gives the following advice:
- Be specific: illustrate a key problem that needs changing
- Offer a solution: all useful feedback shows a way to address the problem, or points out that there are many ways
- Be present: feedback is better face to face and in private
- Be sensitive: to be kind and understand what this means to the other person, so you can connect to him/her and take advantage of this opportunity to strengthen the relationship.

Giving Constructive Feed Back
M Y Zainudeen, Management Consultant, Sri Lanka, Member
Giving feedback or rather giving an impartial evaluation may be the most difficult task in a professional environment since it is to do something with human (mind, soul & emotion).
The sole purpose of giving constructive feed back is to ensure that the person concerned is always motivated to achieve his personal/professional/organizations goals.
It is very important to highlight the areas where the candidate has performed well and to show the way for improvement in the areas where the candidate has nor performed well.
In this context the evaluator may assume the role of a perfect mirror which shows no distortion. When giving feedback it is very important to keep in mind that neither flattering nor criticism should be done.
Also it is very important to obtain the feelings of the person who is evaluated to make sure the feedback is effective & justified.

Some More Constructive Feedback Tips
ANTONIO BARRANCO RUIZ, Manager, Spain, Premium Member
Constructive feedback should be based on an objective analysis of the behavior, without making subjective interpretations about attitudes. Human behavior is what we see people do or what we listen they say. There is no more.
From this point, we have to verify the degree of coincidence between that behavior and good professional practice.
Furthermore feedback must be:
- Concrete: focus on behavior, not on personality.
- Timely: do not let time pass too long.
- Honest: to say things as they have been without double messages, avoiding blame or praise.
- Open: giving people the opportunity of telling us their own version, and being able to compare and unify these two apparent realities.
On the other hand, the best way to make a performance appraisal is to guide the person to his own self.
Directing through questions. Ask first and talk later. Go from general matters to specific ones.
Help people identify their greatness and their accomplishments and their areas for improvement.

Constructive Feedback
van Niekerk, Entrepreneur, Netherlands, Member
Feedback starts with thinking; thinking about what to say, how to say it and why you say it.
There's a big misunderstanding about feedback: a lot think that FB has to lead to a change. No way. Feedback is just a sign of how someone else feels about your behavior. It's up the feedback-taker if he wants to change his attitude/behaviour.
A second misunderstanding is that people FB is positive or negative. I prefer to speak about FB as FB. Fb is just, and not more, a sign of the opinion or view about someone's attitude or behavior.
The way someone gives you FB can be experienced as positive or negative; this doesn't mean the feedback is positive or negative.

Don't Pile up Too Many Issues
Everyone has contributed relevent ideas that will be noted and applied. I completely agree with all the points Nicholas Virgilio touched on, as he provided food for thought, particularly in addressing the behavior distinctly.
I also thought I'd add one of my own. This discussion has prompted me to consider keeping the feedback session simple, not pile up multiple issues, but keep the session focused. Attempting too many changes at once may not be effective.
Some deeper root causes in the employees personal life may need to be addressed in a sensitive manner, and organizational or community resources provided. Lending a listening ear as a manager and making suggestions to some personal matters may help the employee to solve personal issues that may be affecting their performance at work.

DO's and DON'T's of Providing Good Feedback
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
Good constructive feedback demands:
- Timeliness coupled with honesty
- Respectful coupled with humility
- Clarity coupled with action-ability
- Goal specific coupled with issue-specific
- Objective coupled with being supportive
- Motivating coupled with being insightful
- Action oriented coupled with being solution oriented
In your feedback avoid being:
- Unsupportive
- Critical
- Personal
- Disapproving
- Biased.

Just a Simple Model on Feedback: BeFeReDe
Dingemans, Management Consultant, Netherlands, Member
The BeFeReDe Model for feedback:
- Tell what you see or hear (Behavior)
- (Optional) Tell how it influences you (Feeling)
- Tell the effort (Result)
- Tell what you want (Desired)
- I see that you didn't put the manual back on its place
- (optional: I felt insecure)
- So I couldn't work on the project (or machine, PC etc etc) and that delayed my work.
- Can we agree to put it back and the end of the day (or morning)?

When and How to Intercede
Patrick Olliffe, Consultant, United States, Member
In providing constructive feedback it is advisable to:
1. Cultivate a climate where performance matters to you and your team.
2. For all key results areas, display performance feedback in chart or graph form so all can see. Keep them up to date and clutter free. Don’t overdo it.
3. See real time opportunities – missing, meeting or exceeding expectations -and intercede when it is useful and important:
A. If intercession would not be useful & behavior is not important – do nothing
B. If intercession would not be useful but the behavior is important – wait and discuss in private. Document.
C. If intercession would be highly useful and the behavior is highly important – intercede assertively and maintain control for as long as it takes for the individual contributor to regain control. Document.
D. If the intercession would be useful and the behavior is not important - intercede empathetically maintaining control with the individual contributor throughout the intercession. Document.
Do this you'll have less surprises and weak comments.

Performance Feedback Best Practices
Jack Cook
Forget the annual performance appraisal. Devote that time and energy into coaching & mentoring. Thus the employee knows continually how she or he is performing.

Best Practices in Constructive Feedbacks
abraham garshong
In my opinion, one reason why people do not make time to think through a situation and provide constructive feedback, is their past experience in how their contributions have been treated.
That's why it is important for any contributor to be acknowledged, and also to have a feedback on his/her feedback etc.
Also tact in handling feedbacks which do not 'make sense' is critical.

Giving Constructive Feedback
Prakob Chaibuntan, Teacher, Thailand, Member
In the past, present and future, managerial persons act serious as if to keep their authority, but in fact such expressions unermine their authority. All will keep a big distance... So:
- Be trustful,
- Apply gradual AI (appreciative inquiries), or
- Ask if employees sleep for five years and wake that will the company look like then.
- If you want constructive feedback, you must also give constructive feedback
- End with a smile and never doubt to say: thank you so much, your feedback is so helpful...

Constructive Practices Emerging from Constructive Feedback
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
@Abraham Grshong: I find your observation very much valid. Unless one is provided a feedback on his/her feedback – an ethical and unbiased acknowledgement –regardless of its validity or otherwise, constructive practices, always needed, would never taken root.

Gaining Constructive Feedback
Prakob Chaibuntan, Teacher, Thailand, Member
Austerity never helps gain feedback, even with police and CEOs. A Thai proverb says "Hot water revives fishes, but cold water kills them".
Authoritative power meets 95% resistance. Austerity flies feedback to either antarctic or arctic. Christ says "Give and you will get": if you give constructive feedback you also gain constructive feedback.

Listening and Taking Turns Contributes to Respectful Dialogue
U.S. Supreme Court Judge Stephen Breyer stated that we should never speak twice, until everyone has spoken once.

The Duet Dance of Love...
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
@Kathryn Pawley Steiner: an essential part of true listening is the discipline of bracketing, the temporary giving up or setting aside of one's own prejudices, frames of reference and desires so as to experience as far as possible the speaker's world from the inside, step in inside his or her shoes.
This unification of speaker and listener is actually an extension and enlargement of ourselves, and new knowledge is always gained from this. Moreover, since true listening involves bracketing, a setting aside of the self, it also temporarily involves a total acceptance of the other.
Sensing this acceptance, the speaker will fell less and less vulnerable and more and more inclined to open up the inner recesses of his or her mind to the listener. As this happens, speaker and listener begin to appreciate each other more and more, and the duet dance of love is begun again."
— M. Scott Peck, MD

Constructive Feed-back
ANTONIO BARRANCO RUIZ, Manager, Spain, Premium Member
Being concrete and not eroding the person´s self-esteem. These are the keys to a good "Feed-back".
Feed-back can be positive (greeting or acknowledgment) or negative (critical). The positive is divided into Praise (concrete) and Flattery (general). The best is the praise.
Criticism can be constructive or destructive. Destructive is pessimistic and looking guilty. The constructive is optimistic and looking for solutions. With the negative one, the person feels attacked, but with positive one, the person feels supported and is receiving useful information to correct the error.
Feedback should be:
- Concrete
- Timely
- Sincere
- Open
To correct efficiently, we must:
- Be specific
- Use messages such as "I" (the effect you produce on me)
- Ask things with respect
- Use the didactic
- Have an open attitude
- Reac a commitment to change
But, more important to changing IS WANTING TO CHANGE. It's not just a matter of being correct, but feeling the need for change and to seeing the benefits of the new behavior.

Related Learning on Feedback
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
❗Giving constructive feedback may actually not be the best thing you can do… See How to Get Employees to Improve? Issues with Feedback.
For more information on receiving feedback, visit the discussion How to Receive Personal Feedback.

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