The Lost Art of Feedback

The words “I’d like to give you some feedback” can strike fear into people from the frontline to C-suite. Research shows that negative comment delivered poorly can have significant adverse effects on well-being and productivity. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Giving feedback has become a lost art amongst many of the managers we work with. Although we all know feedback is vitally important for improving performance, many managers avoid corrective feedback lest it be seen as criticism and seldom give useful positive feedback that reinforces the specific behaviour they want to see repeated.

A few years ago, I made a conscious decision to give (and ask for) more considered feedback, and I believe it is having a positive impact on my team and ultimately our customers.  I use a simple TakeON! tool (EEC Feedback Model) to help guide me through the feedback process. I like it because it can be used equally well for giving positive or developmental feedback.

Example, Effect, Continue or Change (EEC)

[caption id="attachment_445" align="alignright" width="300" caption="EEC Feedback Model"]EEC Feedback Model[/caption]

Example: Specifically, what did you observe?

I noticed that when Mr Jones came in to check the details on his home loan you struck up a good conversation and asked a number of relevant questions about his plans for the future.

Effect: What happened as a result of the behaviour you observed?

The effect was that he seemed pleased that you were interested in him and what he wanted to achieve and was confident that you understood what he needs now and how that might change if he decides to buy an investment property.

Change OR Continue: What should be continued and maybe shared with others or what needs to be done differently next time?

Next time you have a situation like that try asking the customer if they would like to get the loan pre-approved so they have the finance in place when they’re ready to make a move.

OR Keep using those three key questions you asked to extend the conversation and explore how else we might be able to help customers to achieve their goals. Well done!

The EEC model removes much of the subjectivity from the process, it is easy to remember and quick to use and it allows you to have a meaningful conversation that can be acted upon and monitored. To be most effective and remove the negative stigma, remember the 4:1 ratio. Look for at least four opportunities to give positive feedback to every one instance of corrective or developmental feedback.

And remember Ken Blanchard’s famous quote “Feedback is the breakfast of champions”.

Want to know more?

Please email me if you’d like your team to become more effective at giving feedback and visit the new TakeON! website to download an overview of The Art of Feedback module.


Posted: Sunday 14 July 2013

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner