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Chapter 35. Six Tools for Effective Coaching > Nine Tips for Effective Feedback

Nine Tips for Effective Feedback

  1. Be specific when referring to behavior.

  2. Consider your timing. Before the event, give feedback in the form of advice; immediately after the event, give positive feedback.

  3. Consider the needs of the person receiving the feedback as well as your own. Ask yourself what the person will get out of the information. Are you “dumping” or genuinely attempting to improve performance or the relationship?

  4. Focus on the behavior the receiver can do something about.

  5. Avoid labels and judgments by describing rather than evaluating behavior.

  6. Define the impact on you, the unit, the team, and the company.

  7. Use “I statements” to reduce defensiveness.

  8. Check to make sure your message has been clearly received.

  9. Give the feedback in calm, unemotional words, tone, and body language.

Putting Coaching to Work

Thomas was a new employee with great potential. Amy, his supervisor, was thrilled to have someone new in her department with so much experience in their industry. Amy wanted to put Thomas’s expertise to use as quickly as possible but decided first to get his input. She asked him about his previous employment and what he liked and did not like about the work environment. She listened intently as he explained.

Amy continued to observe and analyze Thomas’s work style. It seemed that he was not using all of his knowledge. She arranged a meeting with Thomas to discuss his work performance. She asked effective open-ended questions to discover that Thomas was holding back on his knowledge so he would not alienate his new co-workers.

Amy took into account Thomas’s needs as well as those of the entire team as she offered Thomas feedback on how he could use more of his knowledge and help the team improve its performance. Amy and Thomas developed a contract for the future of his career, describing how he would track the expectations and commitments of his job and also help the team achieve higher goals.



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