Effective Feedback Is A Vital Leadership Skill

Constructive Feedback

Providing effective feedback is not a natural skill but one that has to be learned. Read why it is a necessary communication skill for all leaders and employees to learn. 

Communicating in a professional environment? Everyone knows how to do that, right? The answer might not be what you expect to hear. While in an ideal world it would be great if everyone was handed the same ‘How To Communicate In The Work Environment’ manual – this doesn’t happen and some people never learn the right way to communicate with their colleagues. 

Providing effective feedback is one such communication skill and surprisingly, it is leaders that often fail in this category the most. And it is for this reason exactly that companies should be paying more attention to the leadership communication skills they need to develop.  

Why Effective Feedback Is Often An Ignored Professional Skill 

While you may be providing feedback to your colleagues, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is entirely effective. In a considerable amount of professional environments, managers often assume that to be a successful leader you have to give people tough, difficult feedback. In some cases, this will be necessary but there is so much more to this communication skill than many realize.  

When it comes to a business assessing the training needs of their employees, the skill of giving feedback is often overlooked as most would understand it to be a skill that we have naturally. Yet, effective feedback takes form in more ways than one. And it is certainly meant to be used more than once a year at the annual end of year performance review.  

Similarly to developing public speaking or presentation skills, mastering the art of providing valuable feedback is a leadership skill that everyone can improve upon.  

Top Tips For Using Effective Feedback Skills As Part Of Your Work Environment 

To give effective feedback in the workplace, whether as a manager to one of your employees or to a fellow team member, it is important to keep a number of things in mind. The aim of feedback is to help the ongoing development of others, clarify expectations and build confidence. So, mastering it can mean better communication on the whole.  

1) Check Your Intentions – Before you give feedback to another person, remember why you are giving it. This can help you make sure that your approach is positive and focused on how the other person can improve their performance. Regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative in nature, it should always be fair and balanced.  

2) Be Timely – Time really is of the essence. The quicker that you provide feedback, the better. If you notice that your colleague made a mistake in one of their recent presentations, make sure that you provide your recommendations closer to the event happening. If the situation is highly sensitive and emotional, give some time until things calm down but don’t leave it until the end of the year.  

3) Be Regular – Make it consistent. If you are going to be giving feedback, consistency is key. Informal and simple feedback should be given on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. If the situation requires, daily feedback should also be shared.  

4) Be Specific – Don’t mince your words. Tell your employee or coworker exactly what they need to work on and stick to the facts. This leaves no ambiguity and means that the other person knows exactly what it is that they should focus on improving.  

5) Focus On Positives – Not all feedback has to be negative. In fact, it is always good to speak to the person’s positive behaviours as well. Mention one thing that you admire about their work and then follow up with a suggestion on an aspect they could improve.  

A sign of a true leader is someone who is able to bring out the best in those around them. If you are in a managerial position, you need to be able to support and effectively communicate with your team. And the first step to doing that is learning how to provide valuable feedback.  

How Your Company Can Benefit From Professional Development Skills Training  

Investing in professional skill training is essential for all businesses to factor into their yearly employee training plan. Especially when it comes to how your employees communicate with each other. Not only will it ensure that your leaders are equipped with the skills they need to carry out their jobs effectively, it also means that your company is giving its employees the tools they need to grow professionally.  

Interesting in hearing about more leadership skills that can help your business grow? Get in touch with us at the Training Company today and we can talk you through our catalogue of professional development courses.