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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

Structured Feedback

A query on my web-site ... Dear Adil, As a leader, let me confess. I find myself very inadequate when I have to give feedback to my team members. There is no structure in my mind as I begin the process. I want to be truthful and I do not also want the person to get into any negative spiral. Half way thru the process, I forget my grace. It becomes messy and very argumentative with the person on the other side either disagreeing and/or explaining long-drawn contextual realities for his behaviours etc. I have never come out of the process feeling happy. Infact, dread the thought of giving negative feedback and thus avoid it. Try to delegate this to someone but sometimes, it cannot be avoided. The other guy does not end up getting the real feedback and expresses displeasure. Please help with a structure. - J.Khusrukhan, Mumbai Dear Khusrukhan, Most leaders appreciate the need for feedback but skill wise are most ill-equipped to give feedback. 'Feedbacking' for both - the leader and his team member (particularly negative - developmental feedback) becomes a nightmare, if not structured well. Thus it is identified as the most dreaded and depressing process which ends up in merely sweethearting, sweetening and avoidance of real feedback. This is a pure Leadership failure. First-cut, let me recommend to you a very basic structure for giving feedback (see the doodle). Displeasure is a natural reaction when negative feedback is given by a leader. Try out the structure I have suggested. It may help you to prepare yourself effectively before you get into such a feed backing session. Leaders do not do their homework well or go into such critical conversations only with a power structure in their minds. Thus they fail. If you need more help, call me. Adil. 

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