Everyone in a supervisory position has had to provide corrective feedback to staff. This can often be uncomfortable for both parties. As a result, supervisors often attempt to "soften" the blow or make the experience less negative by providing positive statements about the staff or his/her work. While supervisors should take every opportunity to provide positive feedback to their supervisees, it should be done genuinely and in a way that does not discredit both the positive and corrective feedback that is provided. One common method of providing feedback is to make a sandwich. The feedback session begins with a positive statement about the person, his/her efforts, or results of his/her behavior, then provides the constructive or corrective feedback, followed by a compliment and encouragement. Essentially you sandwich the negative between two positives. While this often makes the manager feel better, it is not effective and does not always leave the staff feeling good. But how can this be? If you begin and end a session with positives, why does it not lead to positives? First, humans tend to remember the negatives more than they do the positives. Second, partly because the method is so widely used, it has become seen as the "way to give correction" and so the staff know that the point of the meeting was to correct, not to praise. This can result in the positives being viewed as insincere. To fix this, follow these steps when providing feedback to your staff. And remember, you should spend more time meeting with staff to provide only positive feedback than to provide negative feedback. If you find that the majority of your meetings are to provide correction to staff, you might need to rethink your schedule! Step 1: Provide a behavior specific positive. Do not look for something to fill the step, but really think about what the staff has done that is positive. State exactly this. Do not say general things like "I really like having you on board" or "you do a really great job every day". Instead tell him/her exactly why you like having him/him on board or why s/he does a great job. Step 2: Provide an empathetic statement related to the correction you will provide. Step 3: State exactly what was done that was incorrect. Remember, be specific Step 4: State why this was incorrect and the impact it has. Step 5: State exactly how to correct the mistake. Step 6: Role play the correct way to perform the task. Step 7: Allow for questions. Step 8: Repeat until mastery of the skill is achieved. Remember that people usually do not make errors on purpose! It is not personal and it does not mean that person is not a good employee or someone worth having on your team. Stay objective and professional and your staff will begin to appreciate the feedback you provide.
Written by Natalie Parks, Ph.D., BCBA-D, CPBC.
Posted on March 01, 2017 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau