In the workplace, giving feedback to direct reports, peers and leaders is not always easy. When using a 360-degree feedback survey, after all parties (peers, direct reports and managers) complete the evaluation, effective delivery of the data gathered in the survey is critical for the employee to be able to use it for growth and development.
Certain people are naturally better at giving feedback than others, but with practice and guidance, anyone can develop this skill. Using the methods below, you can deliver feedback more effectively to get the most out of the conversations that stem from 360-degree evaluations.
Set the Stage
Ask the person receiving feedback to identify his or her strengths and weaknesses.
This step creates transparency and establishes an open, conversational dynamic. To prevent misunderstanding or miscommunication, both you and the person receiving feedback should be clear about intentions and what you hope to gain from the evaluation.
Consider the positives and negatives of each piece of feedback.
For example, someone with high attention to detail may be thorough and great at project management, but he or she not be able to be a visionary for the future.
Start the feedback conversation with strengths.
When you recognize the positive aspects of an individual and their accomplishments, they are more likely to be open to hearing feedback on the areas where they need improvement.
The Perfect Delivery
During the feedback process, make sure it’s a two-way conversation.
By encouraging questions, you’re creating an opportunity to provide examples or make further suggestions and making sure the reviewee feels heard.
Praise strengths, but don’t be afraid or hesitant to give developmental feedback.
Be confident and give suggestions. The point of the 360 evaluation is for the individual to use the information gathered in the survey to become more self-aware and improve. Objectivity and sincerity in delivery support well-received feedback.
Your tone should be objective, genuine, and non-judgmental.
Recognize that the person receiving feedback has put themselves in a vulnerable place in order to grow.
Use specific behavioral examples and refer to the job context.
The best way to make your feedback developmental is to provide examples to support it.
Always End on a Positive Note
Be constructive; focus on the future and next steps.
When closing up the 360 feedback review meeting, focus on how the information shared in the surveys can help shape the individual’s goals. For example, by saying, “You have some great strengths here; let’s focus on a few areas to help you be even more successful,” you’re showing that you’re invested in the reviewee’s future.
Commit to ongoing, real-time feedback.
Just because the review is over doesn’t mean you should wait until next year to provide more feedback. Telling someone to work on a particular skill is less effective than providing feedback within the context of an actual situation and explaining how building skills could have affected the outcome of that situation. Keep an open-door policy, and be sure to share feedback along the way.
Feedback from 360-degree evaluations can be a valuable source of information, but it’s important to make sure it provides useful and actionable data. Feedback from peers, supervisors and subordinates helps you to understand how an individual is perceived from all angles. The data can reveal individual and group strengths and weaknesses and ensure more effective development efforts.