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Deel Team

Feedback is a method of transmitting evaluative or corrective information about an event or action, which is used as a basis for improvement. In a well-managed organization, feedback helps ensure checks and balances are active at all levels.

Good feedback is a constant loop of input and outputs and provides tools to the addressee to adapt, grow, and become better versions of themselves. This post looks at four feedback types and offers tips for using them effectively.

Positive Feedback

Positive feedback is the kind of feedback that we all enjoy. With this form of feedback, the speaker expands upon their appreciation for work well done and provides positive remarks on employee performance. This type of feedback is vital because it reinforces positive behaviors.

Tips on Positive Feedback:

  • Go into detail about the behavior being rewarded
  • Emphasize the team’s effectiveness, don’t focus too heavily on one person
  • Consistently share your feedback with team members
  • Be generous with your rewards and genuine with your praises

Positive Feed-Forward:

Positive feed-forward feedback provides the addressee with affirming remarks that can also motivate them to produce more of their best work. Positive feed-forward feedback differs from positive feedback by focusing on the future and ways behaviors can be further improved.

Tips on Positive Feed-forward:

  • Give the addressee clear expectations
  • Provide achievable targets and essential deadlines.
  • Keep the addressee updated
  • Have a record of employee progress

Negative Feedback:

Without warning, negative feedback can feel like an attack. Many people hate giving negative feedback. However, when used correctly, it can be a very effective tool. Negative feedback is formative as it explicitly points out behaviors that should be avoided or significantly improved, and the effects of these behaviors.

Tips on Negative Feedback:

  • Give your feedback in private to avoid embarrassing situations
  • Make the conversation a collaborative one; arrive at your desired conclusion together, through self-assessment
  • Refrain from putting off difficult conversations and then unload all shortcomings in one discussion.
  • Emphasize what needs to be done, provide a solution, and set goals with the addressee

Negative Feed-forward:

Like positive feed-forward feedback, negative feed-forward focuses on the future and on behavior improvement. However, it specifically addresses behaviors that should be avoided. This type of feedback is effective in tackling bad habits and malpractice.

Tips on Negative feed-forward

  • Identify the areas where the addressee can grow/ improve in the future and frame the required changes as part of a learning process
  • Encourage effective behaviors while discouraging negative ones
  • Make yourself accountable for the outcomes, reflect on your methods of communication and how they can affect the desired results
  • Keep a record of progress (goal setting)

Tips on giving effective feedback without inducing anxiety

When dealing with any form of feedback, what matters is that the input’s delivery and quality are clear, structured, and progressive. If not, feedback might foster an anxious work environment where open communication is not prioritized.

Here are some tips to make sure feedback in your team is a source of open and constructive conversations rather than anxiety and negativity.

  • Act promptly
  • Pick the right time and place to deliver feedback
  • Be specific and use examples
  • Avoid negative language
  • Take note of peer feedback
  • Use self-feedback to ensure you are always on track