The Art of Keeping Friendships and Giving Feedback
I see the care you give your team. You have fostered strong relationships and camaraderie. It hasn’t always been easy to get to this point so the thought of doing anything to undo your hard work to this point is uncomfortable at best.
As a manager, delivering difficult feedback can feel like disrupting the harmony within your team. The challenge lies in balancing your personal connections with the necessity of addressing critical issues. While it might seem daunting, there are effective strategies that can help you navigate this delicate balance.
Here are three…
Effective feedback delivery is rooted in preparation. Before delivering your feedback do you homework and consider the following:
- What specific examples do you have about the feedback you want to discuss, be specific
- What the impact is/will be
- Why it’s a concern
- What desired outcomes you would like
- What input you would like from the person
Spending time formulating what you want to say will help you come to the conversation with a well-prepared mindset. This sets the stage for a constructive and solution-focused dialogue.
2. Approach Feedback with Curiosity
Feedback does not automatically mean conflict. Read that again! One powerful approach to feedback with greater empathy is to come to feedback with curiosity and openness. Instead of approaching it as a one-sided critique, view it as an opportunity for mutual learning and understanding. Aim to understand the other person’s perspective, which involves allowing them to exchange information with you. To increase the chance of this happening effectively, give them time to speak and actively listen to what they have to say. By demonstrating genuine curiosity, you create a safe space for open dialogue, fostering respect and collaboration.
3. Embrace the Manager Mode – Switch Hats
Metaphorically putting on your ‘manager hat’ is a valuable technique to transition from personal to professional conversations. A simple statement like, “I’m going to put my manager’s hat on for a moment…” serves as a subtle signal. It indicates the shift from a friendly interaction to a more structured, work-oriented discussion. This approach helps both parties mentally prepare, ensuring a focused and productive conversation.
Feedback with Heart
Giving feedback, even the challenging kind, should be approached with empathy and sincerity. By embracing curiosity, switching to your ‘manager mode,’ and preparing thoughtfully, you can address difficult issues while nurturing your relationships. Remember, these conversations are opportunities for growth both for you and your team. So, approach feedback with an open heart and a willingness to learn – you’ll be amazed at the positive transformations it can bring to your professional relationships and overall team dynamics.
If you would like to prepare to give some feedback download a free worksheet to help you do so by completing the form below.
If you would like to give your team leaders the support to authentically give effective feedback, performance reviews and team support, reach out to learn more about our leadership development program.