VOICES Project Toolkit
Feedback is crucial, but so is how it’s delivered. Taking the
right approach to giving feedback can mean the difference
between teaching an effective lesson and upsetting a team
member. We asked practitioners:
How and when do you give feedback?
Giving feedback to the whole group is fine
as long as no one is going to be
embarrassed by anything said. Anything
negative or that may be uncomfortable to discuss
should be brought up in private.
It’s very important to keep emotions out of it. If
you’re angry, then hold off from giving feedback. And
remember the importance of giving positive feedback.
Feedback shouldn’t be given only when an individual or
a team is doing something wrong. It’s human nature to
thrive on positive feedback.”
—Sarah Bell, governance officer, Ballarat City Council,
Keep It Short and Sweet
Giving feedback is at least 5 percent of
my workday. I manage operations in six
countries, so all of my meetings are via
teleconference unless I’m traveling.
When you lead a teleconference, it’s almost like a
private talk show. It’s about clarity, timing and awareness.
In terms of receiving feedback, five minutes is about the
most people can handle on a subject over the phone.
I really try to avoid rebukes during teleconferences.
Although I’ve seen it done several times over the years,
I’m really at a loss as to when that was ever appropriate
or effective. It’s just not nice.
The most difficult meetings are when people deny
there’s a problem. It’s really hard to deal with that
over the phone because it’s hard to properly convey or
interpret emotions when you can’t see somebody. It’s
not much easier in person, but seeing body language
and facial expressions help.
The bottom line is, just like meetings in general, you
have to keep feedback focused and interesting. Show some
enthusiasm. Be ready to speak and to listen, and be ready
to learn what you need to lead and mentor the team.”
—Thomas Stalzer, CAPM, southern area manager,
OPMAS-E program at Vectrus, Livorno, Italy
Fit the Feedback to the Situation
How and when to share feedback is
completely dependent on the situation. It’s
important to closely observe the employees
who report to me.