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Giving Effective Feedback (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series)

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Whether you’re dealing with a problem employee or praising the good work of a colleague, you need to communicate in a way that promotes positive change in others. Giving Effective Feedback quickly walks you through the basics of delivering feedback that gets results, including: • Choosing the right time to talk • Engaging in productive dialogue • Helping both star and str Whether you’re dealing with a problem employee or praising the good work of a colleague, you need to communicate in a way that promotes positive change in others. Giving Effective Feedback quickly walks you through the basics of delivering feedback that gets results, including: • Choosing the right time to talk • Engaging in productive dialogue • Helping both star and struggling performers • Developing a plan for effective follow-up Don't have much time? Get up to speed fast on the most essential business skills with HBR's 20-Minute Manager series. Whether you need a crash course or a brief refresher, each book in the series is a concise, practical primer that will help you brush up on a key management topic. Advice you can quickly read and apply, for ambitious professionals and aspiring executives—from the most trusted source in business. Also available as an ebook.


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Whether you’re dealing with a problem employee or praising the good work of a colleague, you need to communicate in a way that promotes positive change in others. Giving Effective Feedback quickly walks you through the basics of delivering feedback that gets results, including: • Choosing the right time to talk • Engaging in productive dialogue • Helping both star and str Whether you’re dealing with a problem employee or praising the good work of a colleague, you need to communicate in a way that promotes positive change in others. Giving Effective Feedback quickly walks you through the basics of delivering feedback that gets results, including: • Choosing the right time to talk • Engaging in productive dialogue • Helping both star and struggling performers • Developing a plan for effective follow-up Don't have much time? Get up to speed fast on the most essential business skills with HBR's 20-Minute Manager series. Whether you need a crash course or a brief refresher, each book in the series is a concise, practical primer that will help you brush up on a key management topic. Advice you can quickly read and apply, for ambitious professionals and aspiring executives—from the most trusted source in business. Also available as an ebook.

30 review for Giving Effective Feedback (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Archit

    Giving feedback is akin to a negotiation - it is a daunting task, which needs to be handled tactfully (and all of us intuitively believe that we are really good at it). Both parties need to be in consonance. One wrong move can impair the relation between the manager and the subordinate and both will end worse-off than they were before the feedback meeting. Key insights: • What makes a feedback effective? • It is shared frequently and in context. • It aims to achieve a specifi c outcome. • It is real Giving feedback is akin to a negotiation - it is a daunting task, which needs to be handled tactfully (and all of us intuitively believe that we are really good at it). Both parties need to be in consonance. One wrong move can impair the relation between the manager and the subordinate and both will end worse-off than they were before the feedback meeting. Key insights: • What makes a feedback effective? • It is shared frequently and in context. • It aims to achieve a specifi c outcome. • It is realistic in its expectations. • It shows respect for the recipient. • It is a two-way conversation. • It is expressed as a point of view, rather than an absolute truth. • It assumes an opportunity for follow-up. • Providing feedback is not merely a hoop to jump through when the time for performance reviews rolls around. It should be an ongoing process woven into the fabric of everyday work. • Avoid giving feedback in these circum - stances: • When you do not have all the information about a given incident • When the only feedback you can offer concerns factors that the recipient cannot easily change or control • When the person who needs the feedback appears to be highly emotional or especially vulnerable immediately after a diffi cult event • When you do not have the time or the patience to deliver the feedback in a calm and thorough manner • When the feedback is based on your personal preference, not a need for more effective behavior Giving Eff ective Feedback 16 • When you have not yet formulated a possible solution to help the feedback recipient move forward • Giving feedback is to influence the following. The following is ranked in ascending order of difficulty to influence (easy to influence to difficult to influence) o Job Skills o Time & work management o Knowledge o Attitudes o Habits o Personality traits Feedback is most likely to affect learning, growth, and change in areas that least threaten the recipient’s sense of self-worth. Feedback about attitudes, habits, and personality traits can hit close to home. Does that mean you should not try to infl uence the behavior of a person who, for instance, wholly dislikes collaboration? Of course not. But it will be more effective to direct your efforts toward, say, getting that person to follow clearly outlined steps in a collaboration protocol rather than making a blanket demand that she “learn to enjoy teamwork.” • Difference between Feedback, Coaching and Performance Appraisals o Feedback – to reinforce or change behavior o Coaching – to improve skills o Performance appraisals – to evaluate past work • Feedback session checklist o One-line overview – eg. – your subordinate Mr. X was rude to the customer o Objective report of the behavior – customer screamed at Mr. X. He retaliated o Objective report of the effect on the team or project – others sitting beside Mr.X were disturbed. Reputation of the company will be tarnished o Potential objections to the objection report & how you will address them – mr. X may deny that he spoke rudely. If he does, tell him about the corroborative evidence of the witnesses o Discussion plan – provide facts, listen to Mr. X’s version of events, make clear that rude behavior will not be tolerated, ruminate & decide way forward o Possible barriers to the feedback – he may get angry with this feedback point o Ways to overcome the barrier – don’t judge. Listen to his point of view o What questions do you have – what really transpired? How can he avoid losing control in the future if such situations arise o What questions might you be asked – he may ask “what to do in the future”, “what sort of behavior qualified as rudeness” o Desired short-term results – have him committed & friendly to the customer o Desired long-term results – find a way to make the job for him less frustrating • Tip for giving positive feedback When you’re giving positive feedback, sending good early signals is usually not diffi cult. The very context—that you want to say something complimentary— is often enough. Identify what you’re praising in specifi c terms. For example, “Maria, you did a great job on the Simmons project this past week. I was particularly impressed with how you handled the client’s concerns about deadlines and the action plan you developed in response. I’d like to show what you did to the rest of the team.” Don’t end there. Ask Maria what allowed her to do such a great job. You may discover gems you didn’t anticipate. • Tip for giving corrective feedback Let’s return to the example with Judy. You might be tempted to begin the conversation by summarizing what you’ve heard and laying down the law: “Judy, I’ve heard from a customer that you were rude to him last week, and a few other team members overheard and agreed. You just can’t speak that way to a customer. What do you have to say for yourself?” This sort of approach is likely to make Judy defensive and isn’t going to make her any less angry and anxious than she may already be (as you will have identified in your prep work). Instead, you might start the conversation in the following way to remove some of the barriers you identified: “Judy, you know we’re here to discuss what happened on your customer call earlier this week. I’d first like to share the information I have about the situation, and then I want to hear your point of view. After that, we can discuss what to do next. How does that sound to you?” Because you opened the discussion in this way, Judy can immediately see it as a two-sided conversation and understand that you aim to work with her to find the right solution to the problem. She’ll know that she will have a chance to be heard, and that may make her feel less angry and anxious and more respected. You can then describe your understanding of the incident and encourage her to share her point of view. • Listen actively, monitor non-verbal cues & your own reaction, PARAPHRASE WHAT SHE SAID • Paraphrase what the recipient says. By restating her response in different words, you show the other person that you have understood her point. If anything is unclear, ask more questions until both of you are on the same page. • For eg- if employee comes late everyday, ask her, see if alternative time schedule can be arranged/ if she can work from home for 2-3 days a week • Check-in regularly, ask her to describe her progress, be explicit about the improvements you are noticing – offer praise and reinforcement to bolster her progress, • How to evaluate feedback process – 3 stages – Process, Relationship & Results Process Planning the feedback Initiating the meeting Discussing pertinent points Listening to the recipient Developing an action plan Relationship Communication style Recipient’s reaction Level of mutual trust and respect Results Impact of changes Timeliness of changes Expectations and progress

  2. 5 out of 5

    Héctor Iván Patricio Moreno

    Estos libros pensasdos para personas con poco tiempo son muy efectivos en enseñarte las bases de algo, sin lo que no puedes empezar, y darte un índice para aprender más: libros, artículos y temas relacionados. En ese libro se propone un plan básico para empezar a dar retroalimentación a tu equipo, cómo te debes preparar, cómo dar retroalimentación a empleados difíciles y también a las estrellas de tue equipo. Finalmente invita a establecer una cultura en la que dar retroalimentación sea lo natura Estos libros pensasdos para personas con poco tiempo son muy efectivos en enseñarte las bases de algo, sin lo que no puedes empezar, y darte un índice para aprender más: libros, artículos y temas relacionados. En ese libro se propone un plan básico para empezar a dar retroalimentación a tu equipo, cómo te debes preparar, cómo dar retroalimentación a empleados difíciles y también a las estrellas de tue equipo. Finalmente invita a establecer una cultura en la que dar retroalimentación sea lo natural y esperado. Básicamente, establece la retroalimentación como un medio efectivo para la mejora constante, no como un fin en sí mismo. Si quieres dar buena retroalimentación, este libro te puede ayudar a empezar.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    For $13, this is a nice little reference text that introduces some high-level but helpful best practices around giving feedback, to direct reports, colleagues, and even bosses. I did some useful highlighting throughout but really wanted a lot more. That said, it helped me organize my thoughts enough that I can figure out the specific areas I want to deep-dive into. As always, with HBR you are essentially getting a digest of many, many books and articles, all of which are listed across 9 pages at For $13, this is a nice little reference text that introduces some high-level but helpful best practices around giving feedback, to direct reports, colleagues, and even bosses. I did some useful highlighting throughout but really wanted a lot more. That said, it helped me organize my thoughts enough that I can figure out the specific areas I want to deep-dive into. As always, with HBR you are essentially getting a digest of many, many books and articles, all of which are listed across 9 pages at the end. Worth picking up if you (like me) are completely new to the concept of giving feedback at work.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cyril Danthi

    Providing feedback an toughest thing in professional and personal situations, that can make or break a relationship. Feedback is often corrective which means its intended to help the recipient change course or adjust practices when the current ones aren't working. Therefore giving effective feedback becomes critical. The objective of feedback conversation is to reinforce positive behavior or improve performance. The book provides a clear guidelines and difference between feedback, coaching and P Providing feedback an toughest thing in professional and personal situations, that can make or break a relationship. Feedback is often corrective which means its intended to help the recipient change course or adjust practices when the current ones aren't working. Therefore giving effective feedback becomes critical. The objective of feedback conversation is to reinforce positive behavior or improve performance. The book provides a clear guidelines and difference between feedback, coaching and Performance Appraisal. Feedback discussion us an opportunity to share the observations with others about the performance and behavior. It becomes very important to identify the right situation to provide the feedback. The best part of the book is the flow on feedback process - from planning to monitoring. Feedback is very easy to influence job skills, time and work management and knowledge but it is difficult to influence on attributes, habits and personality traits. Some of the points that needs to be followed during feedback are - Active Listening | Observation on Nonverbal cues | Monitoring the reactions | Paraphrase the recipient. One should also keep in mind that Feedback is not a cure-all for workplace ills. The book also provides guide on providing feedback to high performers, difficult conversations and feedback to boss and tips on giving positive feedback publicly. A small book, very handy and helpful

  5. 5 out of 5

    Henrique Brighenti

    I got the audiobook version! At first I thought it was funny the mechanical way of the narrator. Seemed like one of those really old TV comercials or government health publicity, like from the 80s or before. Then I realized it fits the book and the words really well. It's not exactly bad advice but it is clearly a book written by a manager man, to another man manager. Sometimes it seemed that it was only about giving feedbacks to woman... in the only example with a male recipient of the feedback, I got the audiobook version! At first I thought it was funny the mechanical way of the narrator. Seemed like one of those really old TV comercials or government health publicity, like from the 80s or before. Then I realized it fits the book and the words really well. It's not exactly bad advice but it is clearly a book written by a manager man, to another man manager. Sometimes it seemed that it was only about giving feedbacks to woman... in the only example with a male recipient of the feedback, the guy is prone to leash out, because women are always docile.... And it says it is about feedback to colleagues, bosses and employees alike, but it didn't seem so... the advices are mechanical, almost robotic and although it does take in consideration people's feelings it seemed cold anyways... Maybe I'm privileged to be in an environment where feedback is common practice, but nothing about this book went beyond the obvious to me. Maybe it is good to others.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dhruv Sharma

    Very informative and interesting. Creating feedback that is truly useful requires more care and attention than is typically invested. Like any skill — chess, golf, learning Mandarin — offering strategic developmental feedback requires that we pay attention to and do many things effectively and simultaneously. Given the opportunity to help others develop and become more effective, it’s worth the effort.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alex Melber

    Helpful tips and reminders around feedback. Will be a resource I reference in the future. Biggest takeaways - 1. First and foremost, build trust with your people. They need to know you are for them and want to see them grow and succeed. This allows for feedback (whether praise or correction) to come from a healthy place so it is best received. 2. Create clear goals around your vision where people know when they (and the organization) are winning.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    This book is very informative. When it comes to giving feedback it helps you understand the importance, but also helps you learn how to give feedback. I honestly think this book will help me in my daily life even if it’s just giving my husband feedback.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    While I do appreciate brevity I feel like I blinked and this was over. While it might be somewhat helpful for some, it wasn't what I was hoping for. I would prefer something outlining a formal structure for providing written feedback. While I do appreciate brevity I feel like I blinked and this was over. While it might be somewhat helpful for some, it wasn't what I was hoping for. I would prefer something outlining a formal structure for providing written feedback.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Siti Aziz

    Good tips on handling difficult conversations. Though one can slightly doubt on the practical use of it. Will give it a try!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    Short, sweet, concise, potentially impactful.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mark Stapel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Audible, added notes

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gregg

    Good quick read. Lots of helpful tips and good insights.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dave Corun

    Nice quick refresher of basic concepts regarding feedback.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tenzy

    I have always wanted to learn how to express my thoughts on things and this book helped out in giving strong and effective criticism. The points will be useful in the long run especially when we converse to people almost all the time. This book gave me usedul tips in applying my inputs in teams work and what not. Highly recommend.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Lam

    It feels obvious after you've read it, but it's astonishing how often people do the opposite and none of those and are allowed in exec positions - namely founders. It's a short but effective read and should be a requirement for anyone tasked with leading a team. It'll certainly be something I come back to for refreshing my memory. It feels obvious after you've read it, but it's astonishing how often people do the opposite and none of those and are allowed in exec positions - namely founders. It's a short but effective read and should be a requirement for anyone tasked with leading a team. It'll certainly be something I come back to for refreshing my memory.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kunaal

    A quick read and it gives concise actions which can be implemented immediately.    There is a real science on how we can provide a feedback and why should we differentiate it from Coaching, Mentoring and Performance Appraisals. Quite often we tend to mix them. Top things that a worth mentioning from my perspective are:   I assumed that the other person cannot take feedback. If you are doing it right, even the most defensive person could handle it.  Timing is critical for giving feedb A quick read and it gives concise actions which can be implemented immediately.    There is a real science on how we can provide a feedback and why should we differentiate it from Coaching, Mentoring and Performance Appraisals. Quite often we tend to mix them. Top things that a worth mentioning from my perspective are:   I assumed that the other person cannot take feedback. If you are doing it right, even the most defensive person could handle it.  Timing is critical for giving feedback. Best time is when the other person has cooled down. The cooling period gives you time to structure your feedback with valid points.  We should not assume and provide feedback but rather questions and hear the person's perspective.  Giving a feedback or receiving one is behavioural change. It cannot happen without an environment created. If you want an environment that encourages feedback, start by accepting feedback openly.  Feedback is most effective when we focus on the behaviour that the recipient can change and its delivery is timed.  You can read this book within 20 minutes. 

  18. 5 out of 5

    M Lewis Hansen

    Giving Effective Feedback breaks down impactful ways to provide feedback to direct reports, peers, and superiors in a format which improves the chance that it will be heard and used. It addresses follow up, and discusses ways to discuss feedback in situations where it might not be openly accepted. It's a fast read and easy to navigate for reference. The Learn More section at the back of the book turns this quick refernece piece into a jumping off point for diggin in to work on these skills. Giving Effective Feedback breaks down impactful ways to provide feedback to direct reports, peers, and superiors in a format which improves the chance that it will be heard and used. It addresses follow up, and discusses ways to discuss feedback in situations where it might not be openly accepted. It's a fast read and easy to navigate for reference. The Learn More section at the back of the book turns this quick refernece piece into a jumping off point for diggin in to work on these skills.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Perkins

    Snap shot read I recommend to all. This quick read can be used often to remind us of the importance and impact of our feedback. Favriote quote "Praise effort, not ability" this easy to remember thought can become your daily mantra. Remember to praise those around you for their work, including failures. Snap shot read I recommend to all. This quick read can be used often to remind us of the importance and impact of our feedback. Favriote quote "Praise effort, not ability" this easy to remember thought can become your daily mantra. Remember to praise those around you for their work, including failures.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ishwar Anand

    An essential tool for the health of an organization. Feedback should be effective should be heard and implemented. Think in a manner finding a path where the desired problem does not arise. You assess that particular path with the help of feedback

  21. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    This has good, general advice. It has a section on how to approach your own boss with feedback, too, but I couldn't imagine having done that with The Beast. This has good, general advice. It has a section on how to approach your own boss with feedback, too, but I couldn't imagine having done that with The Beast.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Delhi Irc

    Location: ND6 IRC Accession No: DL030732

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hani Mezel

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Cline

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gavin Lissimore

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ana María León Miravalles

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sara Laumann

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mark Butler

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jen Vasquez

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

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