Positive Feedback – Food for the faint-hearted.
Giving and receiving feedback in the workplace is a necessary factor in the daily grind but so often it is handled inappropriately and causes more unnecessary stress to both parties.
So how do we get it right? how do we deliver feedback responsibly in a way which is positive no matter what the situation?
In this series of blogs we will look at different situations and how to deal with them professionally putting the person at the centre of the equation.
Today we take a look at giving feedback in a difficult situation, this could be under performance or maybe negative or inappropriate behaviour.
The most valuable way to have a constructive meeting is to prepare first. So many people go to meetings ill prepared for what may happen, without facts, without emotional intelligence and without thought for the potential repercussions.
Top 3 tips:
- Write to the individual asking for a meeting, make sure you state the reasons for the meeting and what needs to be discussed. Make the tone professional but not intimidating – when people receive emails of this nature they automatically put up barriers, assume the worse and become hugely stressed.
- Meet on neutral ground – Chose a meeting room that isn’t your office or in view of peers and prepare. Make sure there is water available and if you believe that there is a chance of emotion then ensure there are tissues available.
- Ensure you have all the facts to hand. If the meeting is about under performance then use measurable information, so against objectives or appraisal outcomes.
- Ensure there is structure to the meeting, that there is a starting point that your opening statement states the reasons for the meeting and that it mirrors the written request. Make detailed notes to ensure that everything is recorded.
- It is absolutely vital that you use an appropriate tone, even if you feel anger or frustration towards the situation. Keeping a calm and professional demeanour will get you far better results.
- Use open-ended questions to open up the individual, put them at ease and get them talking. If you can achieve open and honest dialogue from the beginning then it will set the tone for the rest of the meeting and the outcomes.
- Once you have discussed the facts then ask what they think the plan should be for retrieving the situation. By allowing ownership you are putting the responsibility for their career firmly back in their hands.
- Do not focus on negatives, this will only serve to decrease motivation levels and cause further issues. Instead focus on what needs to be achieved and what help is needed to get them there.
- Focus on what the individual has achieved and their strong skills this will not only increase motivation but restore positive belief-systems.
- If there are weakness’ help them identify which areas they need help with and ensure they get the correct learning and development.
- Make sure they have clear objectives and support in order to avoid any re occurrences.
- Always end the meeting on a positive and thank the individual for their time. If the situation has been resolved through meaningful communication then thanking the individual will further increase their motivation levels.
Once the meeting has finished write to the individual clearly stating the key areas of discussion from the meeting and the objectives moving forward, that was each of you has a record of what is now expected.