Most of us are not good at receiving anything other than positive praise or report when it comes to the things we are doing or involved with. We like, however much we pretend not to, the praise of our peers. However, progress is rarely made with feedback that never addresses in any measure our weaknesses, failures, mistakes, forgotten points, moments of incompetence, lack of preparation or any other factor we would rather just gloss over.
That being said many of us who are involved in giving feedback aren’t good at it. We tend to major on the main things that effected or annoyed us and skip over the positives rather too quickly. When feedback is done well and incorporated into a relationship that has developed a level of trust you often find that people welcome what you have to say. They believe and understand that your motivation is about helping them rather than condemning them.
So, here is a simple way to give good feedback using WWW and EBI.
WWW – What Went Well
This is a great way to bring out elements of any person/s work or involvement. Look for any little or indeed big thing that worked and comment positively on it, for example:
You finished the work for the agreed deadline
As a team you work cohesively together, everyone was on task
The preparation for the event made everything run smoothly
You demonstrated a high level of patience dealing with that difficult person
WWW’s are used to draw a picture of a person’s successful performance and can be the springboard to some great discussion on developing excellence.
EBI – Even Better If?
EBI’s allow you to bring in objective criticism in a positive manner, i.e. It would have been even better if …
You had planned time in your schedule to work on the report therefore meeting your deadline
Everyone was clear on their role and expectations to meet the team goal
You had a plan or organisational chart to help you prepare for the event
You had given time for the person to explain their issue before interrupting
The best ratio for WWW and EBI is 4 to 1; this allows for a positive feedback session where you can address one or two areas for development at a time. People respond better to those they know are trying to help them move forward. Therefore, using structured feedback is essential to developing successful people and teams.