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Feedback - Giving and ReceivingFeedback - Giving and Receiving

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Implementing a feedback loop is critical at any stage within an organisation. Feedback enables both managers and teams to be more aligned and motivated to the business goals.

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Below are some extracts from our Feedback - Giving and Receiving manual.

There are many types of feedback that managers can deliver, and delivering the appropriate type of feedback increases the chance that the receiver will hear, understand, accept, and act on that feedback.

In situations where Emotions may be heightened or raised, Feedback should be given Face to Face. Tips to remember are;

       ·          Create a Positive atmosphere (with Easy Open Questions), a positive comment or compliment & arrange the environment (Time, Place) to put the Mentee at ease

       ·          Explain where it fits in the Management process and how it can benefit them

       ·          Be Open, Supportive & Sincere

       ·          Explain the bigger picture or impact - say ‘Why‘ you are giving them the feedback

       ·          Always end with a Positive Constructive comment eg. Agree how you can offer support moving forward


Barriers to Feedback

Any Barriers to Feedback Communication should be identified and overcome, or mitigated to a workable levels.

This can normally be achieved through Manager and Employee engagement, and may require input from other Managers or Departments.

Common barriers to Feedback (may also include lack of Manager or Employee skills):



The SBI Feedback Model

Because feedback can be a difficult process, try using a model to help frame the conversation, such as the ‘Situation – Behaviour – Impact’ (SBI) Model:


For example:

Situation: Remind your manager of the situation. Describe the situation where the observed behaviour occurred. The more specific about the where and when, the better.

When we had the weekly team meeting.

Behaviour: Describe the behaviour you are looking to change.

You mentioned the lack of adherence to following the sales process.

Impact: Describe the impact on yourself and/ or the organisation.

This was great because it reminded us all of the correct protocol.


In addition, follow these general guidelines:

       ·          Praise specific actions that have had beneficial effects to encourage the person to use them more often and therefore help themselves and others.

       ·          Focus on the behaviour not on the person

       ·          Tell someone “What they did” not “What they are”

       ·          Be specific not general

       ·          If people have specific incidents to refer to them so that they can also replay their memories of the event

       ·          Use observation not inference

       ·          Say what you have seen, heard or felt, not what you think is happening.

       ·          Report feelings or consequences of behaviour

       ·          What a person’s actions make you feel is valid feedback since they cannot know what effect they have on your feelings.

Alternatively, the EEC/K (or EEK/C) Model could be used in other, or more informal circumstances;

This is often referred to as the E squared C cubed model.

In the example above, the model is being used to provide constructive or corrective feedback to address a performance issue. It can also be used to recognise and praise positive behaviours, for example the staff member has written a report which has been very well received. The effect has been that you have received some very appreciative emails, asking who wrote the report and asking you to pass on their thanks. In this case you will not be asking them to change or correct their behaviour, but to continue it!

Giving good Feedback

The following acronym provides a robust framework for delivering good feedback:

Specific: Be exact about what behaviour you want the person to change.  Keep information Concise and with a clear message.

Timely: The feedback should be delivered as soon as possible for maximum effectiveness

Expressed Directly: The feedback should be delivered in a direct manner, using ‘I’ statements, to the Employee

Behaviour or work Focused: The feedback should focus on the behaviour that should be changed, not the person or their personality

Actionable: The feedback must be about something the person can either Change (behaviour, work practise) or to identify a Positive behaviour to Keep.

Helpful: The feedback should be Constructive, and show that you want to help support the individual with this problem. Any Support should be agreed by all parties.  Key attitudes include respectfulness, honesty, open-mindedness, and empathy.

It is best practise to plan the feedback before it is given to ensure sensitivity to the message being sent and to the people present. Criticising a team member in front of the entire team will not be well received. Surprisingly, being praised in front of a group can make some people feel uncomfortable too.

Direct Praise or Criticism

This is often used in informal feedback situations, but can also be used as part of formal feedback. Remember the characteristics of good feedback even when delivering these short items.

Note that direct criticism should be used very rarely – typically only when safety is the issue.


“That report that you sent out today looked great, Jamie.”

“You need to put your hard hat on, Aaron.”


The Feedback Sandwich

This is where you simply sandwich the negative between two positives. This approach has been criticised because it trains the employee to always expect a negative when they hear a positive, and it takes the focus away from the actual problem. However, it is especially useful for new or sensitive employees or in situations where the job is well done overall.


“Susan, your report had all the right statistics in it, and I really appreciate that. However, we need you to use the company template. I’ve e-mailed it to you so that you can use it the next time. Good job getting it in on time, too!”


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