The Art of Giving Feedback

Gursharan Singh

Purpose of Feedback: To Improve ( Product/ Process/ Person / Performance )

Process of feedback: It is a 3 step process

  1. Preparation for giving a feedback
  2. Giving Affective Feedback
  3. Checking the impact of feedback                                                                      

Preparation for giving a feedback

  1. First & foremost Become aware of significance of Product/Process/Person / Performance about which you want to give feedback. Say for example you will like to give feedback to the Product Development in charge , about  the delay in if forwarding a sample to a new client , for the first large order. So it is significant that the approval of this sample will lead to a big order & getting a new big client.
  2. Gather all the relevant objective data about the Product /Process/ Person / Performance for which you want to give feedback . Say for example what, when & to whom the details were given for the sample development as mentioned above. Also gather the progress as of now , based on review of actual data points & present status.
  3. Note some positive information about the Product /Process/ Person / Performance for which you want to give feedback. Say for example you may have noted that work on the sample development started within 2 hours of the relevant information received by the Product Development Department. The first sample produced within 4 days against the normal sample development time of 6 days. However due to lack of coordination & communication gap between Product Development Team & the marketing department,  the developed sample was still not sent to the client for review & approval.  Form your investigation you have found that the Developer did the job and submitted the sample to Product Development In charge . However the In charge  who normally had been working very effectively ,  was involved in the preparation of Monthly Progress Report & in this case  was sitting on the sample for two days. On the other hand since normally sample development takes 6-7 days for the development, the concerned marketing executives also made no follow up about the sample development.
  4. Decide very carefully what, how & to whom you will give the feedback so as to ensure that Product /Process/ Person / Performance improves. In the example we are discussing your intention is ensure timely development of a sample matching the need of the customer.

Giving the effective feedback

After preparing as indicated above, proceed further.

  1. Start the feedback on a positive note
  2. Highlight the significance of Product /Process/ Person / Performance
  3. Start with some appreciative aspect of Product /Process/ Person / Performance
  4. Give direct, honest & specific feedback about – what & why need to be improved –  by whom, how & by when.

Say in the example that we are discussing you will give your feedback to Development Supervisor as under:

“ As you know we are developing a very important sample for a very large client for our first large order & it is utmost important to get  approval of this sample , at the earliest. It is very rare that things get delayed in your department. It is very appreciative that the first  sample development by your Product Development Executive was made on 17th Nov , in just four days , which normally takes 6 days.  However the sample  got stuck at your desk as  you said that you were occupied with preparation of monthly progress report which was to be submitted on 18th Nov. As an In charge you must balance between different priorities which will ask for our attention. I will like you to review the whole process & share with me in next 2 days what steps you would take so that  there are no delays in the entire process, unlike the present case”

Checking the impact of feedback

If the feedback has resulted in improvement of Product/Process/Person / Performance; the feedback was effective. If no improvement was observed, further fine tune your feedback, as explained in this article.


Exercise for this week

Based on what is written in this article,  think about :
  • At present, how do you give feedback about Product/Process/Performance/People ?
  • How would you like to improve your feedback giving mechanism?                                                           
Wishing you a Great Week  !!!