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Updated: Feb 8, 2022

Hello current and future Leaders,

Following on from our last nugget about Performance Reviews – today let’s discuss Feedback. What is feedback, why is it important and best practice for giving feedback.

So, what is it? A simple definition is “Feedback is factual information about what someone said or did, intended to change or reinforce behaviour.” This definition already implies feedback can be positive and negative, the intention with which feedback is given matters and it needs to be based on facts.

Why bother giving feedback? When asking managers to provide a quote about feedback you often hear “Feedback is a gift!”. This is very true, and yet we find people in the workplace who rarely receive feedback and possibly only when they have done something wrong.

A recent Gallup survey (March 2021) showed that when employees “strongly agree” they “received frequent and meaningful feedback in the past week”, they are almost four times more likely than other employees to be engaged.

Feedback is an opportunity to motivate – when you are not expressing thanks for something well done, you are missing an opportunity to inspire positive feeling and commitment. Positive and constructive feedback is essential to develop performance – try not to view feedback as criticism but rather as support to deal with under-performance in a constructive way.

An easy to remember and easy to apply feedback model is the SBI™ Feedback Model developed by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). SBI™ stands for Situation | Behaviour | Impact – here is how it works:

o Prepare your feedback meeting – make sure you have concrete examples with data and facts, reflect on your intention, plan an appropriate amount of time

In the meeting

o SITUATION – Describe the situation that you are referring to, be clear and specific

o BEHAVIOUR – Outline the precise behaviour which you have observed; it is important not to relay hearsay

o IMPACT – Highlight the impact of the behaviour on you, the team, or others in the organisation

When appropriate you can extend the SBI™ model to an SBI-BI*) by including

o ALTERNATIVE BEHAVIOUR – Engage and discuss an alternative behaviour which may have been better

o ALTERNATIVE IMPACT – Explore the different impact the new behaviour could have

*) (BI = Behaviour – Impact)

Remember, feedback is most valuable when it is specific and concrete, balanced, focused on behaviour that is possible to change, and non-judgmental.

It is not just important to be good at giving feedback – receiving feedback can be a challenge as well. A few tips to bear in mind when receiving feedback from your peers, manager or team members:

o Listen without interruption

o Avoid being defensive

o Politely question to clarify, if necessary, ask for examples

o Summarize the feedback to make sure that you have correctly understood

o Thank the person for their feedback and let them know you will take their input on board

As an exercise I encourage you to think of a situation where you would like to provide feedback – positive or constructive. Take a few minutes and prepare a feedback session with the above model in mind. And then – DO IT!

Find my “Management Gold – Nuggets” useful? Then let me know and share with others.

If you find this inspiring and you would like to explore further, I am delighted to meet with you for a 30-minute-free-of-charge-info-session.


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