Make sure you’ve done your part before giving feedback

Giving feedback is a critical job responsibility and a challenging one for many managers. Especially when the focus is on accountability, make sure that you have done your part and are prepared before having a discussion.

Here’s a quick checklist from strategies recommended by Madeleine Homan Blanchard, co-founder of Coaching Services at The Ken Blanchard Companies:

  • Before giving feedback, be sure that clear agreements about goals, norms, roles, and expectations were established and in place.
  • Make sure that the relationship has sufficient trust. A good foundation is important. Ask for permission to give feedback if you need to share something that might be delicate or hard to hear.
  • Be specific and focus on behaviors that are within the employee’s control. Describe the specific behaviors or real data rather than giving generalizations.
  • Be open and ready for a variety of different outcomes. Be prepared to discuss structure (including when and how they will do what is needed), accountability (benchmarks to help you and others know that they are on track) and support (how you and others can help). Finally, be prepared to follow up with consequences for failure.

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