As we discussed in the blog titled: Five Keys to a Positive Work Environment, the core element of coaching is feedback. Giving feedback both positive and constructive, helps everyone to understand expectations, develops open communication and facilitates continuous improvement.
However, if your feedback is intended to put someone down, show your power/authority, or retaliate for something, do not say a word. Be clear about your intentions and you will maintain the person’s self-esteem.
Feedback is specific information provided to an employee that communicates how the employee’s behavior is affecting the workplace. To be effective, it helps to keep certain principles in mind. Look at how you give feedback.
- Check your body language and what signals you might be sending.
- Ensure your mindset is coming from a place of helping others.
- Don’t start with judgment, just reflect person’s behavior. It’s like holding up a mirror. State what you heard or saw without judging and be specific.
- It’s helpful to show how the behavior impacts others so start with how it makes you feel.
- Feedback should be in private and timely.
- Check to make sure clear communication has occurred
Asking yourself these questions before giving feedback helps you focus and be thoughtful in handling the situation. How does the behavior relate to patient care? What do I want to happen as a result of giving the feedback? Is this the right time?
For many, the biggest hurdle is what to say. Come up with the words you are going to use before you jump in. Here is a model that will hopefully help.
- State your observation
Mary, the other day I overheard you tell the new nurse that you did not have time to answer her questions because she should know the answer. Use this approach instead of saying, you were awfully nasty to that new nurse!
- Give your reaction, use “I” statements.
I felt bad for the new nurse. I understand you have many years of experience, and it is sometimes frustrating to be asked lots of questions.
- Define the impact on you, the team, the department, and the patient
If our new nurses don’t feel comfortable asking questions to validate what they are doing that could negatively impact patient care and how she feels about working here.
When you give feedback, you should be prepared to handle the response you get. Don’t get defensive but be ready to ask questions to clarify what they are saying and feeling, so you can clarify what you meant and what you want to happen.
If you communicate regularly with colleagues about what’s going on it is not a big leap to coach. It is all about helping others be the best they can be.
What tactics do you use when preparing to give feedback to your staff? Have you had success using these tactics?