Without a doubt, one of the most difficult soft skills to develop. And though I don't claim to be an expert on the topic, here are some simple rules that worked well for me.
- Don’t delay giving feedback
- Avoid anonymous feedback — It feels fake and dishonest.
- Always give it in private
- Actively prepare for one-on-one meetings
- Write down questions you want to ask
- Give concrete examples
- Deliver the bad news
- Avoid shit sandwich — It does not work. It feels dishonest.
- Explain why you deliver given feedback — “I believe you can be great…, because …” is better than just dry feedback. But you also have to mean it, don't be fake.
When asking for a feedback
- Get well with receiving difficult feedback — It's the view of the person delivering it.
- Ask specific questions — Generic questions lead to generic answers.
- Ask for advice rather than feedback — People tend to talk more when they are asked for advice. And it does not have a negative tone to it.
- “When you do X, it makes me feel like Y” — Feels more genuine.
- As a leader or manager always explain your decisions — No matter if you incorporated received feedback or ignored it. People want to know why.