Every leader knows the importance of providing frequent feedback to their team. 

It is crucial to provide feedback in the right way and in a timely manner.  Without it, problems can explode, morale will tank and great employees will leave. Everyone suffers. 

Companies that wait six to 12 months to provide feedback will never get the full benefit. Employees may not remember the situation after waiting so long. Infrequent feedback can cause employees to judge the review process to justify giving lower than expected raises.

Tactical feedback is at the core of a high performing team.

It is timely, brief and immediately corrects bad or undesired behavior. Do it in a way that leaves the employee empowered and motivated to do a better job. It is not aggressive towards the employee except to immediately illuminate the reasons why they must change their behavior. There is never a reason to yell at an employee.

Give them specific milestones to be met as well as resources, training and mentors to make performance happen. It enables employees to grow faster, problems to be quickly resolved, unprofessional behaviors drummed out and results to be achieved.

The art of tactful feedback centers on striving for continual growth.

Few things are more frustrating than an employee who does not show improvement after an exhaustive effort or one who refuses to change. The temptation to get angry and “tear into” the person is hard to resist. Any words said in anger will not only backfire with the individual but the entire team. Making up for it will be an exhausting experience. Don’t do it!

The value of tactful feedback is improving the relationships between team members as well as the boss and the team. Seek to understand the other person’s perspective without judging them. The goal is to build better relationships and better serve the customer by being more empathetic. More empathetic team members are more likely to help someone rather than stand by. Empathy increases the employee’s value to the team. Tactful feedback removes barriers and provides a path to success. 

What is the best approach?

Use of the sandwich technique where the area in need of improvement is preceded immediately before and after by positive reinforcement. The method cushions any blow potentially stemming from the discussion. Avoid giving feedback in public. Give feedback in a private setting and make sure it occurs with a minimum number of bystanders. Wise leaders are never alone with a member of the opposite sex.

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