The Constructive Feedback Solution
92% of [employees] agreed with the assertion, “redirecting [constructive] feedback, if delivered appropiately, is effective at improving performance.”
– Gallup (2016)
Considered to be one of the essential skills of effective leadership, giving constructive feedback is also one of the most dreaded tasks of many managers and supervisors. Many avoid these conversations altogether because of the perceived risk of confronting problematic behavior. Managers worry that the employee will react emotionally, deny the allegations, or, if their skills are valued, that they will decide to leave the company because of the conversation.
When the issue is one of technical skills, managers are more willing to suggest additional training or find ways to help build the skills of their staff member. However, when the issues are ones of how they treat their co-workers and the atmosphere created by their disrespectful behavior, managers often hesitate to address this behavior. Yet, when there is a pattern of behavior that is disruptive to a healthy work environment, leadership has a responsibility to the entire team to respectfully work on these issues with the individual involved to re-establish a safe work environment.
The National Conflict Resolution Center’s Constructive Feedback Challenge gives them the tools, frame of mind, and strategy to help make these difficult conversations meaningful and successful for the employee, the work group, and the organization.
In her article on giving constructive feedback, Lisa Patrilli (Visionary Leadership), lists the eight essential skills of leaders in giving feedback. These include: timeliness, specifics, relevance of the behavior, perspective, tone, behaviors desired, offering to be of help, and reaffirming the person’s value. Although this workshop was developed long before this article was written, each of these key skills and how to strategically use each of them is covered in a powerful three hour workshop. Through dialogue, interactive exercises, and practice, participants will learn these essential skills and more.
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