Supportive feedback involves sharing straightforward, constructive perceptions and advice to help people improve. It should be encouraging, specific, and actionable. On a SuperTeam, feedback is both given and received respectfully; the giver shows respect by caring about the recipient’s growth and development, while the recipient shows respect by being open to the feedback and appreciative of the giver’s effort. Moreover, SuperTeam members take the initiative to ask each other for feedback.
It is not easy to provide supportive feedback, but there are ten specific ways that SuperTeam members can improve how their feedback is structured and delivered:
1. Ask permission. When people give permission to a provider of feedback, they are less likely to react to the feedback defensively.
2. Pull the individual into a discussion of what went wrong. This approach is more effective than when a feedback provider simply pushes a point of view.
3. Focus on behaviors, not attitudes. When people improve their behaviors, their attitudes change as well.
4. Avoid judging or preaching. Assume the individual welcomes an opportunity to perform more successfully.
5. Show empathy. People who have experienced poor outcomes feel vulnerable and appreciate a feedback provider’s understanding.
6. Comment on what worked as well as what failed. This approach enhances the feedback recipient’s perception of fairness.
7. Take a TeamWe approach. Feedback to a team member should be given in the spirit of collaboration.
8. Seek to understand. Instead of making assumptions, the feedback provider should ask questions about what happened from the recipient’s point of view.
9. Speak from an “I” perspective. Feedback providers must recognize that theirs is a personal perspective, and that they should be open to the perspectives of others.
10. Be straight. Feedback should be delivered in a straightforward way, not watered down or obfuscated.