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    Offering Productive Feedback Can Help Women Business Leaders

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    Photo by The Consortium

    As women business leaders and business owners, we all know employee reviews and general feedback are essential in building a strong team and creating a vibrant culture in your business. But how we approach this necessary part of running our business is critical. It’s vital to lead with positive feedback before tackling the unpleasant task of dealing with criticism.

    I read a perceptive article on giving productive feedback by Scott Halford recently, and I wanted to share his insight on this very sensitive subject because I thought he had some really helpful tips.

    Create safety
    This is a crucial element because when someone feels threatened, he or she will not be receptive. To me, creating safety means providing a work environment where the object of feedback is to help the business grow, not to be critical.

    Be positive
    Naturally, everyone likes to be complimented. But I find that this is a really effective way to lead the conversation into discussing areas for improvement. Staying positive, though, will help lessen the defensive response. If you have to be negative, says Scott, follow it up with a positive.

    Be specific
    Rather than state something ambiguous, says Scott, try to be very specific with your feedback. Instead of saying, “You are too quiet,” tell your employee, “You’re really smart.  I’d like to hear more of your ideas in our meetings.”

    Be immediate
    I agree with Scott when he says it’s best to address a need for improvement soon after it’s noticed. Waiting only adds to the angst and makes the feedback seem out of place. I like the idea of making feedback a regular part of employee discussions. That way it never becomes the elephant in the room, and it’s a regular topic for discussion.

    Be tough, not mean
    It can be hard for some people to make this distinction, but it’s extremely important. It’s often a good idea to ask the offender their perspective, and then offer your overview, and the way you would have preferred the situation to go. Along with that, says Scott, make sure you let your employee know he or she is being evaluated, and it is your goal to help them succeed.

    Scott’s final observation is this quote, “People have a habit of becoming what you encourage them to be, not what you nag them to be.”  I have to agree, and I find that works in personal relationships as well!

     

    One Response to “Offering Productive Feedback Can Help Women Business Leaders”

    1. [...] to keep everyone calm. And if you can’t do that, says Leo, don’t say anything! See my blog on offering productive feedback for more helpful [...]

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