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How to ACE Giving Feedback

4 Tips from an Insider

· Leadership,hiring,Feedback

It’s that time of year for many of us, when staff reviews are due. If like me, you are snowed under with requests for feedback on peers, colleagues, staff and bosses, here are some tips on how to give really great feedback (and the process be as painless as possible for you!). Remember this:

It is a privilege to give actionable feedback to peers and colleagues

Authentic engagement in the growth of others is a wonderful habit to learn and providing data from your context, from the reality that you sit in is of huge service. I admit it, this can be challenging after the first 5 or 6, but keep an eye on the service you are being to others as motivation.

Without exception though, what you provide as feedback must be actionable and I love the advice Kathryn Britton gives to:

   •     Tell people what to keep (what you love them to do)

   •     Give them feedback and create a conversation that leads to higher goals
   •     Ask them to reach for the best of who they are, with all the diversity they bring (not be more like me!)

As with so many things, tell a story to illustrate "When you did x, I felt y". You must own the message. If you find yourself representing another's opinion, hearsay, or worst, gossip; please stop.

Own it and don't waffle

At a very large software company I worked at, staff were required to provide written input and I can imagine this might be asked of you, despite what we know from twitter, blogs and other online forums that bring the very worst of human nature to the written word. We should imagine a face to face conversation. We do need to be honest but don’t say something you would not say looking the colleague in the eye.

If you have heeded my advice in point one, you will be very specific with either your good or bad feedback. Don’t waffle with bland hints in your written feedback. If you know you do or suspect you might, ask yourself, your coach or your supervisor what it is that you are frightened of in committing specific, actionable feedback to writing. I will bet you find some interesting insights.

Be fearless

Just as Edmond Burke said, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil was for good men to do nothing”. The same is true for reviews and the opportunities to provide feedback for colleagues.

Your choice is to stand up and be counted or look the other way. It is vitally important to all corporations that just getting the work done, simply being "coin operated" is necessary but not sufficient.

This is a great time to pull out the Corporate Values, tenets or other PR/HR material that the organization uses to set it’s aspirations. If you are struggling, use this to benchmark a behavior that you feel it appropriate to give feedback on.

Take time and take care of yourself

I can’t do more than 3 reviews in a row justice. So if I have 15 to complete, 3 before lunch each day for the week is my goal.

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