Feedback: An Important Tool for Supervisors & Managers

Supervisors give feedback to help employee modify their behaviors so that they can improve performance and accelerate growth. Most Filipinos are not comfortable giving feedback. But this is one fantastic skill that every supervisor must employ.

When supervisors fail to give feedback for whatever reason, they fail to inform their people of their current performance, impacting their results and future opportunities.

Giving feedback isn’t as difficult as most people think it is. This is a quick guide to help you have more confidence in providing feedback.

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Get Yourself Ready

As I have mentioned, giving feedback isn’t always easy. The situation varies and people respond differently to it. Supervisors need to learn how to adapt.

Understand that you lenses you wear aren’t always the same as the employees lead. Even your good intentions may receive a hostile response. Your manner of speaking, your timing, the attitude of the employee, and your environment are variables you must consider before you give your feedback.

Check your thinking about giving feedback.

It is not all about bad news. It can also be about good news. What you do is to give people timely communication, so they’ll know how they are doing.

Remember that you have goals. On your journey towards that goal, it helps if somebody tells you how you are doing and what adjustments you need to make.

Think of feedback as giving the person another set of eyes.

By the way, appreciation is feedback. Congratulating a person for a job well done is feedback. Use it to inspire people.

Face your fear.

Giving feedback is most often challenging. Some professionals do not know how to react to it. Some people think that receiving feedback is like going to the guidance office once again. Someone must have committed mistakes, be informed about them, and suffer the consequences of those mistakes.

Think about the consequences of not giving feedback. Knowing the answer to this question should guide you.

Also, trust that if you plan and follow your process, you are likely to become successful. When you plan for your feedback session, you may consider the steps you will take when things become more challenging.

Be Aware of Your Biases

Behaviors affect performance. And some behaviors irritate us for reasons we sometimes cannot explain.

We come from different backgrounds, we have different beliefs, and we sometimes interpret behaviors differently.

It will help if you’ll use an empathy map to understand employees.

It Is Always About Them

I know you have your goals as a supervisor. We do coaching, counseling, and mentoring sessions because we try our best to meet our respective area’s objectives. That is your professional goal.

But when giving feedback, it is crucial to see this from the perspective of service.

You share your thoughts to help employees change attitudes and behavior to achieve their personal and professional goals. When it is clear to you what they want to achieve, it would be easier to align their personal goals to the corporate goals.

It pays to make them fall in love again.

Create a trusting environment.

Filipinos find feedback giving a bit more emotional. It would be best if you established an environment of trust and safety in this environment.

When you give your observation, you ask people to examine the here and now, something that most people are not comfortable doing.

The Best Time to Give Feedback

When I was still learning how to drive, I remember how irritated I was with my instructor. She was practically dictating everything I needed to do. She pressed on the breaks before I get the chance. Most times, she shouted at me. As if shouting was the only way to communicate.

At the end of my driving lessons, she said she wanted a bottle of wine as a “thank you” gift.

She did not get anything from me.

Shouting isn’t feedback. Telling people how wrong they are isn’t either. Calling people to a meeting to tell them how disappointed you are isn’t feedback. Not at all.

Remember, we give it either to change a bad behavior or to reinforce good behavior. If you need to change a new behavior or practice excellent behaviors, find out if you can provide them opportunities to practice the behaviors.

For example, your employee has problems speaking in front of people. She freezes when ask to speak before superiors. Both of you believe that public speaking is vital in her current job.

As a supervisor, find out if there is an opportunity for that person to learn public speaking inside the organization. If not, create those opportunities first rather than giving your feedback about the inability to speak well.

Frequently, motivated professionals fail because they lack the skills necessary to get things done.

If the employee lacks the necessary skills to deliver the job, feedback isn’t what he needs. He needs to be coached and trained in the necessary skills to deliver results.

If an employee failed to do new tasks but has not given enough time to practice the tasks, give more practice time.

Is the person in the middle of the task? Refrain from giving feedback. Do not interfere.

When You Give Feedback

It pays to be clear and intentional once you decide to give your feedback. Be specific about the situation, the tasks or behaviors demonstrated in the situation, and the results you desire.

Your employee must be able to connect it to a specific goal. It is incredible how people can tell you the precise action you want from them.

If you are to mention previously observed behavior, only do so to show a pattern. Focus on the present task. We give feedback on what’s happening now. History lessons can only give us insights.

Give positive feedback
It enlightens.

Catch Employees Doing Something Good

You can give feedback as often as necessary. Build a culture where it is okay to give and receive it.

One way to do this is to catch people doing something good. Identify the behaviors you expect people to demonstrate. Let everyone know what a desirable behavior looks like.

When you give more praises– and always praises first – they will soon recognize the value of what you do.

Then, make it clear that when negative behavior is pointed out, it was always for the greater good.

Best Articles to Read About Supervision

  • Kickass Skills of Supervisors. Discover skills that make supervisors super effective. These skills aren’t superpowers, but they’ll help you perform at your very best.
  • What Is Supervision? To get a good grasp of your supervisory role, explore the meaning and functions of supervision.
  • Feedback That Works. It is meant to work. But there are times it does not. Discover the essentials of being a supervisor who gives useful feedback.

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