How to give awesome feedback

2 min read

Four techniques to help you deliver valuable and constructive feedback to a small team.

One of the most exciting milestones as a new business owner is being in charge of a team. Right now your team may look like a bag of liquorice allsorts. But you know what they say - two heads are way sweeter than one!


So how can your feedback keep everyone motivated?


1. Show Your Team The Big Picture


One way to empower your team is to remind them of the big picture. Invite your designer to see the very place where their new poster will be displayed. Or show your photographer how their snaps will inspire your customers!


When giving feedback, frequently remind your team members of their value and how their role (big or small) makes a difference.


2. Timing Is Everything


It may seem like a big ask to drop your own tools and give feedback on another project. But trust us, being timely with your feedback will keep the momentum rolling and empower your team.


The longer you delay the feedback, the harder it will get. As time passes, the memory fades and it’s easy to sway from the initial brief. The sooner you jump in, the sooner you can move forward.


3. You Catch More Flies With Honey Than With Vinegar


Imagine you have just received the design for a new sales poster from a friend. They were eager to help but are falling short. While forming your feedback, try jotting down your initial thoughts. Then rewrite them without using first person language. For example:


‘I get more confused the longer I look at this poster.’    vs.   ‘We may have a clarity issue.’


‘I think you stole this design.’   vs. ‘We may have an originality problem.’


‘I think you have misunderstood the brief.’   vs.   ‘Let’s go through the brief together.’


You may find it easier to provide feedback when it's less personal! In fact, your feedback will start to come across as empowering.


4. Practice Makes Perfect


At times it can be difficult to lead a team, especially when starting a new business. But we have faith in you! As your team and confidence grow, so will your feedback skills over time.


Honcho Hint - When in doubt, use this phrase Jeff Haden claims makes feedback 40% more effective: ‘I'm giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them.’ This phrase is about reminding your team they are part of a group, the group is special, and you have faith in their ability. Wise words, Jeff.

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