Giving feedback to your workmates can be a difficult task. However, it is important that you offer comprehensive feedback, as it lets your workmates know what they are doing well and what they need to improve on. The responsibility of giving feedback puts you in a position of authority, nevertheless you must remember not to undermine or offend your colleagues.
The following are ways you can conduct a performance evaluation of your workmates and maintain a good professional, even personal relationship with them.
Create a Safe Space
If the person receiving feedback is not comfortable around you, then the whole exercise becomes unproductive. As you approach feedback, be civil but also be friendly. Don’t make your colleague feel bad or make them look foolish in front of others. Have a one-on-one meeting. Confined situations are good because your colleague is more engaged with you, therefore, more willing to listen and open up.
Use Neutral Non-judgmental Language
Whether verbal or written, how you communicate with your colleague also determines the effectiveness of feedback. Present your responses to their attributes in short, clear and specific sentences or statements. Do not show favoritism by over lauding good work. Similarly, do not be too harsh or corrective when criticizing your colleague’s apparent weaknesses. Instead, show sensitivity and be encouraging; this way you don’t undermine your colleague’s capacity to reason.
Give Tough Love
While working with others, you are bound to form attachments or relationships that go beyond work-related matters. Nevertheless, you have to be objective and most importantly, honest so that you do not undermine your professional interactions. Feedback is better when it stands on its own as oppose to when it is presented as a political or personal agenda.
Evaluations are is not just a one-time thing but are a continuous process. Frequently giving feedback at the end of tasks and assignments, or as soon as you notice something worth commenting on is a more productive approach. You’re able to keep track of information in this manner rather than waiting until you’re required to undertake a formal review to go back to your memory and recall specific details of an event.
Keep Conversation Going Both Ways
Feedback is not just about giving your colleague information about themselves; it’s also an opportunity for you to know more about one another. Make it engaging. When pointing out an error they may have made, invite them to make a suggestion on how best to rectify the mistake. This levels the playing field and makes the exercise a little more comfortable for the both of you.
The ultimate goal of feedback is to improve and optimize job performance. Although it is also an awkward exercise, you’re able to gain a lot from it and hopefully build a more meaningful relationship with workmates. You’ll be able to contribute well to the overall improvement of your company and develop a better understanding of individual roles and collective responsibility.