Giving & Receiving Feedback Regarding Delegation

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Giving and receiving constructive feedback during delegation can be hard but necessary for improving job performance. This lesson reviews how to provide and respond to constructive feedback on tasks that don't go as planned.

Tasks Not Meeting Expectations

Meet Laura. Laura is a manager at Sunshine Media, a marketing firm that designs websites for clients. She manages a team of talented programmers who are responsible for building the websites. She has delegated the task of designing a new website to one of her employees, Nick. When Nick finishes the task, Laura realizes that the website does not meet the client's needs. The task was not completed as expected and it is now Laura's responsibility to let Nick know.

Importance of Feedback in Delegation

As a manager, perhaps one of the hardest parts of the job is to provide feedback when an employee is underperforming or makes a mistake. When you have delegated a task to others, you are entrusting them with the responsibility to complete the task correctly. However, without providing or receiving feedback on a regular basis, it's nearly impossible to know the progress of the assigned task, and furthermore, to help your employees improve to the best of their abilities.

Feedback is defined as information about one's actual job performance in comparison to what is expected of him or her. In other words, it's information about how you are doing in relation to achieving your work goals. When feedback is positive and helpful, it's considered constructive feedback. Constructive feedback is vital for both individual and company growth as it gives employees the essential information they need to improve and perform better.

Giving Constructive Feedback

Giving constructive feedback is not easy, and telling someone they've made a mistake or didn't meet expectations is tricky. The words you use and how you say them matters - a lot. First and foremost, constructive criticism needs to be positive, objective, specific, actionable, and timely. To remember these things, just think of the acronym, POSAT!

Positive

Sometimes constructive feedback can be misconstrued as negative criticism, so keeping a positive tone is key. A common way to do this is to ''sandwich'' a critique between two positive comments. For example, if you are providing feedback to your employee about a report, you might tell her that the quality of work and level of details are excellent, but she could improve the next report by adding more visuals. Then finish by saying that you look forward to seeing her next report.

Objective

Emotions should not play a role in feedback, so be objective and neutral. Constructive feedback should concentrate on the task, not the individual. For example, if you are providing feedback to your co-worker who moderated a teleconference and didn't answer your question, you shouldn't tell him that he is an awful moderator. Instead, you might say that you felt that he ignored you when your question wasn't answered.

Specific

Constructive feedback will only be as informative as it is specific and clear. It's important that the person you are giving feedback to understands what the mistake or issue is. For example, if your feedback is about a website that's hard to read, you might tell the programmer that the website works well, but the words in sections XYZ are hard to read because the text size is too small, so it needs to be larger. Articulate the issue as best as you can.

Actionable

What makes constructive feedback valuable is that it provides recommendations on how to improve. Therefore, the feedback should always be actionable. For example, if you are teaching a friend how to drive and he brakes abruptly, you might recommend that his driving will improve if he slowly presses the brake pedal when approaching a stop sign.

Timely

Lastly, constructive feedback should be given within a reasonable timeframe, when there is still time to act. One way to do this might be to incorporate feedback into your weekly meetings with your employee.

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