The number 1 reason people don’t give feedback? They want to avoid conflict.
Imagine you’ve just observed one of your team interact with a colleague and it didn’t quite hit the mark. You want to help but you’re worried that if you try to give feedback, it might become confrontational. Try this.
What went well. Even better if.
Point out what went well and be specific. Better still, ask them what they think went well and encourage them to be specific by asking ‘what was it that made that so?’
Once you have discussed all the great things, introduce the idea of even better if. Asking them (rather than telling them) means that they own the feedback and are empowered to do something about it, if they wish. What else could be done that would make that even better next time. What could they do more of? Less of?
If they are struggling to come up with things, they may ask you for your observations. Offer one then ask them again what they think they could do. Often a suggestion to bounce from is all that is needed to get the ideas flowing.
This feedback mechanism can be powerful as it reduces the likelihood of the conversation turning confrontational, increases focus on positive activity and empowers people to develop themselves.
It’s also a brilliant reflection tool so give it a go!