The other day, while I was conducting a leadership workshop for entrepreneurs, one of the attendees asked the best way to give constructive feedback—especially when negative performance issues are being addressed.
In responding to the question, I counseled the person that first they needed to be clear on their purpose for giving the feedback. What the consequences were to them, their company and the employee if the issues were not addressed; and what specific actions they wanted to address and/or correct.
With that information shared as a backdrop, I suggested that the person take these specific actions when they met with their employee/team member:
- State the constructive purpose of why you are giving feedback and the outcome you want to achieve from the discussion.
- Describe – as specifically as possible – the performance or actions you have observed.
- Describe the impact of that performance on the company and its customers or other team members.
- Let the other person respond.
- Offer specific suggestions about what the person needs to do.
- Summarize your support to the person, that you want them to succeed, but their success is 100% within their control.
- Periodically monitor how they are doing providing interim feedback as needed.