Feedback, whether it is positive or negative, is an important part your employees’ professional growth and development. However, having a conversation with another person about their performance can be uncomfortable and as a result, many managers avoid having these conversations with their employees.

Believe it or not, employees want feedback on their performance and the more frequent, the better. Managers who do provide frequent feedback are likely missing golden opportunities to recognize as well as change employees’ behavior.

For those managers who struggle to provide feedback, here are some tips for making the process and conversation more effective:

  • Provide feedback in a timely manner. In fact, when you observe a specific behavior, feedback should be given as shortly after as possible.
  • Choose the correct medium. Positive feedback can be given almost anywhere — in a public forum, through email, during one-one meetings, etc. Negative feedback however should remain private and be delivered during one-one meetings.
  • Prepare yourself for the conversations. Take some time, even a few minutes, to think about what you want to say, particularly when you deliver negative feedback.
  • Stick to the behavior. Provide feedback about employee’s behavior, not about the employee.
  • Follow the facts. Any feedback provided should be based on facts. Do not base feedback on assumptions or on something you heard through the grape vine.

Finally, remember that the overall goal of any feedback conversation is to coach or guide employees’ behavior to improve performance.

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