Here are the 4 ways your feedback is wack and how you can turn it around! Feedback is not something we take college courses on, and yet we are expected to figure it out. Subsequently, we get all these leaders that are not good at giving feedback. Feedback is also a significant factor in job satisfaction, promotions, gender bias, and more.
Here are the major mistakes you want to avoid when giving feedback:
You are not doing it.
Let’s start where it hurts. The worst thing you can do is not give any! People put off giving their team constructive feedback because they are busy or they think they need to wait until their end-of-year reviews. Don’t be those people. Start giving timely and thoughtful feedback (also read up about responsive leadership here).
You are contributing to gender bias.
According to research, women get more feedback based on judgments rather than facts. (Glassdoor) For example, telling women they are abrasive, bossy, or emotional versus giving them data so they can improve specific areas. Men on the other hand tend to get feedback focusing on facts and behaviors. Make sure you set up a system so that all team members get fair feedback.
It isn’t actionable.
If your feedback is too broad and does not include steps so it can be accomplished, then how will you measure if the person is improving? Start collaborating with your team and set up actionable steps to your feedback so that everyone stays accountable.
You aren’t focusing on soft skills.
Feedback is easy to give when a goal is measured quantitatively. It is harder to quantify soft skills people are improving like their collaboration skills or building a positive work environment. Begin finding ways to get qualitative feedback so that the focus is not always on hitting numbers but also on building good relationships and even better work environments.
BONUS – It is emotionally charged –
Never, and I mean never, give feedback when you are emotional. This is easier said than done since it is easiest to spew out how XYZ could’ve been done better when a goal isn’t being met. Remind yourself that leadership is about integrity, and if you did not support your team as a leader, then you owe them to at least be level-headed when it comes to feedback.
As you can imagine, the feedback loop is a complicated process and one we all have to participate in. I realize that you may be feeling overwhelmed and need some direction. I’ve created a free feedback form you can use to help guide your sessions with your team. Make sure to make it your own and adapt the language and goal setting to your business. Consider this your lucky charm bonus for 2022.