By: Samir Remtulla
Feedback is an extremely important skill to master. Whether you're an intern at a large company or the CEO of your own startup, it is the mechanism where we give and receive advice on how to improve.
But what is effective feedback? And how do you deliver effective feedback? How do you receive feedback and not take it personally?
These are challenges we face in every stage of our careers and our lives. Below are some actionable items that we have narrowed down to giving and receiving feedback.
- Make the feedback actionable and specific: Structure your conversation such that every piece of feedback has an actionable plan associated with it - this shows you have put thought into not only what _the person can improve on but _howthey can improve as well.
- Balance the negative and positive: Feedback tends to have a negative connotation to it, but it doesn’t have to. State what the person has done well and how they exceeded your expectations and for them to continue to do those things in addition to other things on your list.
Make feedback regular and follow-up: It is important to give feedback on a regular basis, not a once-a-year phenomenon. That way, giving feedback becomes comfortable and engrained in the culture of your institution.
Listen: It is extremely important that you put your ego aside and truly listen to what the person is telling you. If you argue with them right off the bat, it becomes extremely tough to be constructive.
- Follow-up and ask questions: Ask questions that clarify and that are constructive - reflect on what happened and what you can do to improve. If you frame your questions in this respect, you are showing that you are interested in improving yourself.
Feedback is an incredibly important tool in helping you and your peers reach their potential. Next time you want to give feedback or are on the receiving end, try implementing the advice above. You'll be surprised how the feedback loop can impact performance and morale.