Feedback is about caring. To be effective it has to come from our deep sense of caring about other people and our will to help them. If we provide feedback to feel better ourselves, to blame somebody else, to show them that they are not right, we do it for ourselves not for others. In such a sense, we miss the whole point of it.
Feedback is as much recognizing something done very well as the proposal of improvement on something that in our eyes could have been done better. The purpose of feedback in such a sense is forward-looking and is about improving for the future. It has enormous value if implemented properly.
Feedback must be actionable. There is no sense in giving generic feedback to somebody like “You need to improve communication skills”, that is not helpful.
Self-awareness: we are not owners of the absolute truth, when providing feedback we need to be aware that it is in fact our experience and opinion about something and how it affected us in the given context
Structure: if done incorrectly it provides more harm than benefit
There are quite a lot of different frameworks and quite a few are very useful. The below is proposed by Google it is called the “SBI framework”:
Situation: Please describe the context
Behavior: Please describe what have you observed
Impact: Please explain your perceived impact of that behavior
Example (recognize excellence)
At the client meeting earlier (situation) you balanced sharing ideas with hearing from them (behaviors) the client told me they thought we clearly understood their needs (perceived impact).
Example (propose improvement)
When you presented your proposal (situation) I observed that you held all the questions till the end (behavior) I noticed that Director did not seem happy to wait till the end (perceived Impact).
Tips to make feedback more actionable and detailed
From 4A of feedback (Netflix)
Appreciate: Natural human inclination is to provide a defense or excuse when receiving criticism; we all reflexively seek to protect our egos and reputation. When you receive feedback, you need to fight this natural reaction and instead ask yourself, “How can I show appreciation for this feedback by listening carefully, considering the message with an open mind, and becoming neither defensive nor angry?”
Accept or discard: You are required to listen and consider all feedback provided. You are not required to follow it. Say “thank you” with sincerity. But both you and the provider must understand that the decision to react to the feedback is entirely up to the recipient.