At Small Biz Gals Adelaide, we're more than just a community; we're a support system, a learning hub, and a place where connections can truly flourish. We understand the significance of offering constructive feedback, not just as a business necessity but as a way to empower each other along this entrepreneurial journey.
It's incredible to gain feedback, but how are you at dishing it out?
In this blog post, we'll dive into the art of delivering effective feedback to help you provide feedback that not only your recipients can digest but also grow from. After all, we don't know what we don't know and we're stunted in growth without constructive feedback.
1. It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It
Feedback's effectiveness hinges on its reception by the one receiving it. Now, we can't control how what we say will be received but we can put our best foot forward. We want our feedback to feel constructive rather than critical. Try phrasing feedback as questions and suggestions.
Balancing negative feedback with positives is another valuable tactic, also known as the complement sandwich. Instead of solely highlighting weaknesses, consider pointing out strengths.
When addressing negative aspects, maintaining a neutral tone is key. By presenting feedback from a neutral perspective, it becomes easier to act on it swiftly and ensure mistakes are not repeated.
2. Say It Once, Say It Well
It can happen (especially in longer projects), that you find yourself providing similar feedback repeatedly. To break this cycle, offer feedback that helps recipients develop habits for future success — a win-win strategy that focuses on future actions rather than past performance.
Give feedback that is clear and concise and guides the recipient on what they can change for next time, not just generic "good job/bad job" mumbo jumbo. Feedback should offer specific examples and practical solutions, enabling recipients to grasp what needs improvement and how to make those improvements. This specificity empowers them to apply feedback effectively.
Consider the role the recipient of your feedback has. For example, if you're providing feedback to a designer during a project, offering organised, clear input early in the design process can set the stage for a successful overall design.
The most effective feedback often centers on improving collaboration in the long term. It should be actionable and accompanied by explanations, allowing recipients to learn and grow.
3. Treat Others How You'd Like To Be Treated
Feedback is a two-way street, you need to give it and receive it in business (and life!) But, no one likes to just be corrected. Try focusing on coming from a place of helping them and understanding, as you'd like to receive feedback. A shift from "that's wrong" to "tell me more" can make a significant difference.
One memorable feedback story in our community involved genuine care from someone providing feedback to on our members. When a client of hers had a hard time booking in a session, she reached out and gave constructive feedback and offered to walk through from the outsider perspective. Our member was able to see that she hadn't considered some parts of her process from her clients end and made strategic changes to improve the entire flow and accessibility of booking with her.
The client's willingness to assist our member with genuine, constructive feedback was invaluable. They walked her through their feedback step by step, highlighting how much they valued her expertise and desired to improve her company's services.
Providing feedback in a caring manner, with concrete examples and improvement suggestions, can be more constructive than broad, negative statements. This approach encourages personal growth and drives continuous improvement.
Effective feedback thrives on trust and vulnerability. By being transparent, kind, and empathetic in your feedback, you contribute to the growth and excellence of the recipient.