Did you know that there are many types of feedback? Feedback comes in different forms. It’s more than just positive and negative. Generally, people give feedback with good intention — to help the receiver improve.
Besides, you get to maintain harmony with your colleagues when you know which types of feedback in the workplace to use.
Two basic types of feedback
This is the most obvious type of feedback in the workplace. Formal feedback is usually appropriately planned, such as employee performance reviews.
Since this kind of feedback is expected, managers and downline reports can discuss issues openly. Before giving formal feedback, it’s best for managers to state the objectives so recipients can prepare.
Think of an annual performance review. The aim is to discuss the employee’s performance for the last 12 months and plan for the following year.
This can happen anytime, in a very spontaneous way or unplanned. That being said, informal feedback has its own advantage.
For example, say a simple “good job!” to your colleagues after finishing the presentation. Or inform them to add X, Y, Z in the report for the next meeting.
Four types of feedback based on source
Six types of feedback based on tone
Here are the feedback blunders you should avoid
Now that you know about feedback types, it’s time to recognise some common mistakes people make when giving them.
Being too vague
Be specific with your feedback, so the recipient understands your objective. If you like their sales pitch, praise them and let them know what makes it awesome. If you need to correct bad behaviour, include the details.
For example, they come to the office on time then have their breakfast before doing their job. Explain to them that the working hour starts at 10 am, and if they wish to have breakfast in the office, they should come earlier.
Sandwiching the negative feedback
You may think sandwiching negative feedback will cushion the recipient. But, people are smart enough to see through your intentions.
If you’re going to give negative feedback, be straightforward, ask why it happened, and show empathy. Should you opt for the sandwich method, ensure that your positive comments are sincere and not too flattery.
No matter how uncomfortable you are in giving feedback, avoid using sarcasm. Be clear and straightforward. If you feel uncomfortable, you should first figure out how to deliver the feedback.
Criticising in public
Remember this rule: “praise in public, criticise in private“. It would help if you never criticised people in public like in a team meeting. It will cause embarrassment and stress to the recipient. Furthermore, it’s better to ask their permission so they can prepare emotionally before giving any negative feedback.
Withholding feedback and giving them in one shot
Also, please don’t compile negative feedback then only shove it to them during annual performance reviews. That’s unfair and unprofessional, as you’re supposed to guide them throughout the year to improve.
Those are the types of feedback you need to know. As an additional reference, I’ve added some common mistakes people make when giving feedback.
If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, I suggest you conduct bi-annual or/and annual performance reviews, peer reviews (between employees) and collect feedback from your employees and customers.
Giving and collecting feedback is essential for the growth of your employees and company. So, don’t hesitate to do it!