How Leaders Give More Effective Feedback

by | Nov 1, 2021

I do not know about you but giving constructive feedback to a team member was terrifying to me! In fact, I would do just about anything to NOT have that conversation, can you relate? What made things even worse was I felt fake when I thought I should give someone positive feedback so, of course, I didn’t do that either! Instead, I waited until I hit my tipping point and then exploded! As you can imagine that method did not work well and never gave me the outcome I truly desired.

What I have learned over the years is that feedback is one of the most valuable things a business leader can give. In fact, I believe, it shows the team member you care enough about them and their career to share valuable information with them.

Constructive feedback in the workplace helps us to understand what we’re doing right and where we need to improve. When feedback is positive, it acts as a source of inspiration and motivation. The power of positive feedback is truly priceless! I made a habit of finding things to praise my team about and I did it in public. They loved it and their faces lit up like the brightest bulb on a Christmas tree!

We get the reassurance of knowing that we’re taking the right steps towards success and we are building a strong culture and team.

When feedback is negative, it can be worrisome initially, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity for growth. Negative feedback, when given effectively, shows us the things that we need to work on in a supportive, and insightful way. It means we can become better at what we do in the long-term.

Here are some reasons why you might want to give more feedback to your team and how to do it constructively.

The Benefits of Constructive Feedback

The benefits of constructive feedback start with engagement. When people get constant feedback and guidance from their team leaders, they feel more engaged by their role and more like part of the team. There are countless statistics proving that feedback drives positive results.

Around 96% of employees say they

  • want to hear feedback regularly
Feedback also:
  • Reduces staff turnover. Telling your employees that they’re doing a good job regularly is a great way to keep them around. However, it also helps to give them information about what could be improved. Team members like to see that they’re making progress in their roles, and feedback helps with this.
  • Provides better business outcomes. You can only drive better results for your company if your team knows what to do to deliver success. Telling a team member why the work they’ve done is good or inadequate means that they’re more likely to deliver effective results in the future. They want to meet your expectations and be an integral part of the culture and team.
  • Increases productivity. The more feedback your team receives, the more confident they’ll be about taking responsibility and initiative. Providing regular feedback keeps your team members from constantly questioning what they do, because they already know what kind of behavior you like or dislike.

How to Give Effective Feedback

Step 1: Be Positive

Notably, giving feedback is important, but not just any feedback will do. Only

  • around 29% of employees

say that the feedback they get helps them to perform better in their job.

If you want the things you say to have a positive influence on your team, it’s important to have a strategy.

First, start by addressing positive behavior. This makes it much easier to give great feedback, because you just tell your team member what you liked about their work and thank them for their effort.

If the feedback you’re going to give is totally positive, highlight what made it so useful and recognize the outcomes that came from the work.

For instance, “Great job on that retail sale, the way you connected our product features to their recent hair challenges really got them to take notice and action.”

If you’re going to give negative feedback, focusing on the positive first will make your team member more open to hearing the rest of what you’re going to say.

  • Ineffective: Your latest retail to service sales isn’t good.
  • Effective: Let’s take a look at your retail sales and see how they are doing according to the key performance indicators. Do I have your permission to coach you and together let’s come up with a strategy that will be more effective and help you meet the company standards?sdf
Step 2: Be Specific and Objective

Aside from approaching feedback from a positive perspective, the other most valuablething you can do to make your feedback more effective is to be specific.

Avoid making generalized observations about something, such as, “You were great with that client”. Although these statements might make others feel good, they don’t give any direction for the future. Instead, try, “That clients hair looked fantastic, I really liked how you gave her your retail recommendation, showed her how to use the product and then asked for the sale. Keep up the great work!”

At the same, focus on factual information with your feedback, particularly if you’re giving negative information.

For instance, instead of saying, “I don’t like how you handled that client,” take your feelings out of it. Say “Great job on your willingness to take that walk-in client, I really appreciated your effort! I noticed that you didn’t take the time to do a 10-point consultation. In the future, remember part of our over-the-top service agreement is we promise to do our 10-point consultation with every new client. Let’s take a moment to review what this looks like, so you are set up for a win with your next new client”

Remember, objective and specific pieces of feedback will help your employees to understand what they’ve done well and where they could improve. In addition, it they need to be clear on the expectations moving forward.

Step 3: Give Actionable Advice

Finally, avoid only telling someone that you liked or disliked something they did. Give them actionable advice on what to do next. Actionable advice is what makes feedback constructive.

Instead of, “I think you could have done better a better haircut,” explain what they can do to get better results the next time.

For instance, “You had great customer service with your client however I noticed that you did not section off the hair when you did the haircut. Let’s get a mannequin head out and let’s go over the sectioning for that particular haircut so in the future you will know and section off the hair properly.”

Moving Forward Effective feedback is beneficial for you, your team members, and your company. Keep these tips in mind to keep your team on track with feedback that they can appreciate, be grateful for and grow from.


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