Transcript: Giving feedback

As a manager, how you handle feedback is essential to your success. There are some simple steps to make it easier — and even rewarding — for everyone involved. 

You have many responsibilities — to the business, your team, and yourself. One of the responsibilities that’s imperative to the success of all three is the ability to give and receive feedback when things are going well and when they’re not. You have the power to drive change!

Employees want transparency, clarity, and alignment, and they’ll become disengaged — and even actively disengaged — when managers give little or no feedback. They want to work in an environment where they know where they stand. 

One way to create that environment is to ask for feedback from your direct reports. This lets them know you’re open to hearing the things they’d like you or your organization to stop, start, or change. Another way to create that environment is knowing how to deliver feedback. When you do, you’re building trust, which can transform your team. 

For productive and rewarding feedback conversations, practice the LAER method: Listen, Acknowledge, Explore, and Respond.

Listening means being present and minimizing all distractions so you can actively focus on what the person is saying. 

Express gratitude when an employee speaks up. Regardless of what’s said, it’s important to acknowledge their thoughts and not get defensive. You might feel vulnerable in the moment, but the employee is putting themselves out there as well. It’s not easy to open up to your manager. 

Confirm what you’ve heard to ensure alignment. Then, ask questions. What do they think is the root cause of the issue? What do they think would improve it? What would change for them if it were resolved? What would they need to see to feel that it has been addressed? 

It’s an easier conversation if they already know there’s a problem. Unfortunately, that won’t always be the case. When they’re not aware that there’s a problem, you’ll need to give specific examples that demonstrate when the problem has occurred and what the impact is. Don’t dance around it. Be clear about what isn’t meeting expectations and go back to asking questions and listening until you’re aligned. 

How you respond will set the example for how you expect them to respond when you deliver feedback. Be honest, direct, and clear about next steps. 

Send an email summarizing what was discussed, expectations going forward, and who is responsible for the next steps and action items. In addition to ensuring alignment, this gives everyone a chance to reflect on the conversation and reply with any clarifying questions. 

Be sure to follow up and keep the conversation going, which continues to create an open and trusting environment of engaged employees. 

For better preparation and more robust, high-quality conversations, utilize the tools and guides available to you in the PI software, such as the person page, relationship guide, development charts, and the management strategy guide.   

Being thoughtful and confident about feedback helps individuals and teams succeed, which helps you and your organization. 

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