5 Instant Feedback Fixes That Will Make You a Better Leader

Sharpen your performance review skills with these super simple strategies.

By Liliana Chitnis

Of all the tactics that great leaders take, sharing feedback is perhaps the most crucial for the continued growth of any organization. 

Passing on positive criticism to employees can improve their productivity and performance, as well as facilitate their learning and personal development. When leaders properly give feedback, it can boost employees’ motivation and foster a healthy work environment. With the right feedback, everyone wins.

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Despite the obvious perks, however, many leaders and managers across industries still find the process of practicing feedback to be painstaking and uncomfortable. Think you could stand to polish up your own feedback skills? 

Try these five simple, effective feedback fixes to establish more trust with your employees and drive real growth.

Feedback Fix #1: Balance Like You’re on a High Wire

Because you are: How you have your feedback conversation can mean the difference between motivating and deflating an employee. 

It’s important to share both positive and negative views in a constructive manner. This not only helps your employees improve their performance, but it also makes it easy for you to deliver critical feedback. 

Rule of thumb: To make a performance review session more productive, include one negative remark with at least three positives.

Feedback Fix #2: Know How to Deliver Negative Feedback

So how do you do that? Focus on making corrective remarks on the employee’s past performance. Point out where they went wrong and show them their performance gap. 

The goal is to help the employee, not demotivate them. Provide proper guidance, discuss what they could have done better, and work with them to improve upon their weaknesses in the future.

Feedback Fix #3: Boost the Positive Talk, Too

The word feedback carries a negative connotation, because most people associate it with criticism. A good leader knows to emphasize their employees’ positives. 

Consistently tell your employees you appreciate their positive attitudes and strengths—this will help them feel valued and motivated and reinforce expectations across the entire team.

Feedback Fix #4: Engage in a Dialogue

Feedback sessions should always be a two-way conversation. To make a performance review more effective and productive, encourage your employees to play an active part in the process and share their own views. 

How is their work experience so far? What do they think can be done to improve the team? A productive dialogue lightens the atmosphere and helps the employee understand and act on feedback better. 

Feedback Fix #5: Be Authentic and Specific

A team can’t perform well or exceed expectations if the players don’t know what they’re expected to do. 

This is why managers and team leaders need to share authentic, specific views and give clear instructions. Ask your employees questions and check with them to see if they’re clear about their goals and expectations. 

Stick to this five-pronged plan and you’ll start seeing results, quick.

Liliana Chitnis is a former HR professional who now works as a content marketing executive at NamanHR, an organization that offers end-to-end HR solutions to help companies build a strong human capital base. She strongly believes in the power of consistent training in the workplace. Liliana writes about various topics related to HR trends, techniques, and tips.