Jagoda Poropat Darrer
Communicating Feedback within People Management
Objavljeno u časopisu Diplomacy and Commerce, svibanj 2019. godine
People management skills can include communication, leadership, delegation, motivation, training and performance feedback. With a lot that have been told about first five skills, how to give people feedback is one of the hottest topics in business today, therefore deserves our attention
Feedback is essential in communication so as to know whether the recipient has understood the message in the same terms as intended by the sender and whether he agrees to that message or not. Business communication involves constant flow of information and feedback is integral part of business communication. There are various levels of hierarchy in an organization. Greater the number of levels, the more difficult is the job of managing the organization. Communication here plays a very important role in process of directing and controlling the people in the organization. Immediate feedback can be obtained and misunderstandings if any can be avoided. There should be effective communication between superiors and subordinated in an organization, between organization and society at large. It is essential for success and growth of an organization. Communication gaps should not occur in any organization (managementstudy guide.com).
Before we talk about how to give positive feedback at work, we need to first understand what actually feedback in workplace environment exactly means. Feedback is a way of communicating ones observations about the behavior, attitude and performance of another person. It is a way to express ones desires and expectations to the other. It is also a system to initiate an interaction about how to improve the current situation, resolve problems, and enhance the performance of an organization and its work force. Positive feedback not only improves the performance of the organization, its work force; but also helps the organization to grow. Providing regular positive feedback is essential. In an organization feedback is very important and plays a vital role in the overall success of the organization (educba.com).
Giving feedback to your colleagues and employees provides them with an observer’s insight into how their performance is progressing, as well as advice to solve any problems, and it is a real skill. Giving your audience a chance to provide feedback is crucial for maintaining an open communication climate (managementstudyguide.com). Providing a manager with feedback on his/her leadership skills may be difficult, based on the subjectivity of leadership skills and how they vary from one manager to another. One way to assess a manager’s leadership skills is to measure the various functions that comprise leadership. For example, an effective leader communicates frequently with staff and leaves little room for ambiguity among the employees who report to him.
Effective leaders also delegate responsibilities to their subordinates according to their employees’ skill levels, attitude and interests. Giving a manager performance feedback on leadership, therefore, requires an introspective look at how the manager’s employees interact with him, whether employees believe he’s an effective leader and if his employees are capable of producing the quantity and quality of work required by business needs (entrepreneur.com). As Marcus Buckingham in Harvard Business Review stated “We humans do not do well when someone whose intentions are unclear tells us where we stand, how good we “really” are, and what we must do to fix ourselves. We excel only when people who know us and care about us tell us what they experience and what they feel, and in particular when they see something within us that really works.”
Forbes columnist Victor Lipman offers some solutions how to communicate a candid but direct feedback. He says that most managers dislike conflict, and giving candid feedback, especially the negative kind, isn’t easy either. He divides things into two areas: the operational side and mental side. Operational preparation consists in doing the right pre-work to help make the discussion a rational not emotional one. A conversation based on facts more than opinions. The key word here is metrics. Ideally, you want your main managerial points about an employee’s performance to be as metrically based, or measurable as possible. The key here is going into any performance discussion with the right mindset. Namely, being thoroughly prepared and knowing the key points you want to make (both positive and negative but above all candid), in a fair, balanced and unemotional manner. Constructive, not scolding. It also can be helpful to try to anticipate in advance any employee pushback you might receive and any points that might be disputed, so you’re ready to continue a calm, effective dialogue.
“Again, you want to keep the review fact-based and avoid getting drawn into any “he said / she said” drama. Logic not emotion should carry the day. Remember, you’re the “adult in the room,” so to speak, you’re management with data on your side. Performance reviews can easily become heated; after all, you’re discussing a very personal subject (job performance), with real implications for compensation and possibly even future employment. You’ll never regret keeping your cool in a contentious meeting, but you will regret losing it.”