Giving feedback to your subordinates
Feedback is helpful information or criticism given to subordinates as a part of coaching process and learning process with an aim to help improve their performance to meet agreed standards, goals, or expectations. Some of the techniques for giving productive feedback are as follows: (1) a supervisor needs to have skills required for giving feedback. Such skills can be learnt and improved through practice, especially by remembering the methods, procedures, or processes that your own supervisor uses to give you feedback. There are basically two kinds of feedback, namely a positive and a negative one. Giving positive feedback is to express appreciation toward an employee either in front of other persons or personally, which is considered a very good stimulation. Negative feedback means that a supervisor must be brave enough to criticize or let a subordinate know about his mistake. You must be very careful when giving negative feedback. A good technique is to give positive feedback first and then negative one; (2) a supervisor needs to clearly understand the objectives of feedback as well as the roles and responsibilities of his subordinates, which should be clearly established and measurable. Feedback should be given one by one in accordance with the responsibilities and mutually agreed goals; (3) a supervisor shall not be afraid of giving feedback and should give his subordinate feedback right away when there is a situation in which the subordinate has to get feedback; for example, praising the subordinate immediately when he did a good job or giving negative feedback right away when the subordinate made a mistake. It is important to give feedback immediately, correctly, and at the right place and time; (4) a supervisor must use proper and creative words when giving feedback. A principle is to give positive feedback first and use the term ‘but’ after that; (5) a supervisor must not give feedback on many matters at the same time because this may make the subordinate feel bad. Feedback given should be easy to understand and not too complicated. The subordinate should have a chance to clarify and explain to ensure mutual understanding; and (6) a supervisor must prepare information or documents required for giving feedback. After feedback is given, the subordinate should have a chance to review such prepared documents so the subordinate can clearly see if any changes are made. Feedback will be most effective if it is truly understood and accepted by both the supervisor and subordinate under appropriate conditions of time and place. The supervisor should give feedback as if he is giving a bouquet that makes the recipient happy without any bias. The subordinate needs to understand that such bouquet is like a mirror that helps reflect the truth and make him see clearly what his role and responsibilities are so that he is ready to make improvement and grow up with the organization.