Giving Feedback To Your Manager? Here Are Some Tips
As the year comes to a close, managers around the world are scheduling end-of-year feedback to their employees. Many factors affect how employees perform (well). The well-known adage “Employees don’t leave a company, they leave their manager” rings especially true when you feel your manager is not helpful to your success (or not helping you succeed at work). But does your manager know that he or she is not helpful to your professional goals? Perhaps it’s time to start giving feedback to your manager as well. If you succeed, your manager succeeds too.
Harvard Business Review article “How To Give Feedback People Can Actually Use” focuses on how to give constructive feedback to help your manager’s performance. The article provides a guide for constructive feedback that can help managers improve and learn, removing all ambiguous and vague assessments.
Helping your manager with actionable feedback will benefit you both. Here’re the three main HBR’s suggestions:
Be Big-Picture Focused
Feedback to your manager needs to be big-picture focused. For example, the feedback should answer the following questions: (1) For this leader to be maximally effective, what should they do more of and less of? (2) Does your manager give you feedback that aligns with the organization’s goals? The feedback shouldn’t be personal, but rather should be synonymous with the company’s goals.
Giving feedback to your manager should always be linked to impact and action. For example, you’ve noticed your manager is trying to communicate more clearly. You would like the manager to continue with this action.
This does not work: You are a clear communicator.
This works!: You communicated clearly with employees on Project X. Employees have become more confident in the tasks on the project. They can see how they’re contributing to the company.
Giving Feedback with Specific Examples
Ditch the vague labels, such as “you’re an inspiring and great manager.” This kind of feedback may backfire! Your manager might see this as flattery. Praise without concrete examples is useless as your manager can’t learn what he/she did well. Instead, stick to what the leader is actually doing. Useful feedback should focus on what the leader is accomplishing.
In addition, avoid interpreting your leader’s behavior: She lacks confidence. He is self-centered. Although you may believe that this leader’s behavior stems from being self-centered, this is your interpretation! Stick to the facts!
Focus On Patterns
Managers tend to be evaluated in response to a specific meeting, email response, or other isolated incidents. While they may have glitches during a particular meeting, this is not indicative of a pattern of behavior.
Rather than recalling only the most recent events, it is more helpful to provide feedback on patterns of behavior that leverage specific events as examples. Furthermore, feedback consists of things that are going well and things that could be improved upon!
Following these three broad points will help provide more effective feedback that will help your manager and in turn you, your team, and your company.
Not all feedback should be given in the office, in full view of everyone. Sometimes a change of scenery is enough to drive home a point. Need a quiet space to conduct a managerial feedback session? GorillaSpace has you covered!