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Xenonex Shares Simple Steps for Giving Difficult Feedback

We often find that the leaders we work with return from a summer break refreshed and ready to tackle some of the more difficult issues that they need to deal with.  Commonly this also includes having to talk to the team about their performance - or lack of it. 


We know that many people find these conversations hard so I wanted to share these simple steps from an original article by Communications Consultant Lou Solomon “Two-Thirds of Managers Are Uncomfortable Communicating with Employees.”


Not all leaders are comfortable giving employees feedback — especially when it’s negative. The fear of hurting people’s feelings and dealing with potential drama holds too many managers back. But people thrive on feedback, which is why giving it early and often is so important.


The next time you need to have a difficult feedback conversation with an employee, use these guidelines:


·Be direct but kind. Don’t beat around the bush. Include specific examples of desired behaviors to help illustrate what you mean.


·Listen. This provides a space in which both people feel respected.


·Don’t make it personal. Imagined slights and malice are toxic, but if you acknowledge the emotions being felt, you open a relief valve for the stress.


·Be present. Show up fully for the discussion, and don’t rush off once it’s over. Follow up later so afterthoughts don’t create imagined distance.


·Inspire greatness. Be sure to communicate your aspirations for the person you’re giving feedback to.


Feel free to share your own experiences and tips for giving feedback.

Xenonex is an approved ILM Centre and is recognised for the quality and standard of its training in the National ILM Hall of Fame. The Xenonex team trains internal and external coaches and has experience of developing and embedding coaching within the public and private sector.

We are currently recruiting for our ILM7 programme in Executive Coaching and Mentoring starting in Leeds in January 2017.

For more information call 0113 322 9234 or email jo.watson@xenonex.co.uk.


Suzanna Prout