It’s easy to avoid giving feedback, but that doesn’t work. Everyone deserves honest, constructive feedback, to both improve and know where they stand.
A few key pointers to doing this successfully:
1. Do it in the moment. More frequent, more lightweight
2. Provide specific input which can be acted on (vs. vague input, like “do it better next time”)
3. Provide examples wherever possible – the more concrete, the better
4. Set and communicate clear expectations, so team members know where the bar is
5. Provide positive feedback along with opportunities for improvement
6. Don’t sugarcoat – be fair, be honest, be specific, be brief
7. Always suggest ways you can be better as well – no one is perfect, and it helps to hear about areas the boss is working on
Above all, be consistent. Clear, specific, frequent feedback is the key to continuous improvement and the most important step to being a powerful learning organization.