Feedback is problematic. Managers often dislike giving it and direct reports rarely get enough to change their behaviors. But feedback, both positive and negative, is an important tool for learning and career growth.
Next time you have to talk with someone about their performance, follow these four steps:
Be specific. Feedback needs to be actionable. Use concrete examples to back up your conclusions. Avoid generalized character attacks. Instead, describe the behavior.
State the impact. Tell the person how his behavior is affecting you, the team, or the organization.
Prescribe. Be specific about what needs to change. Often employees won’t know what to change unless you tell them.
Do it often. Get in the habit of praising good performance and identifying troublesome behavior.
Adapted from Guide to Giving Effective Feedback.