When giving feedback, you might assume your role is to tell your employee what you see, but it’s far more effective if you engage in a two-way conversation. Start by asking questions about their strengths. For example, you might say, “Tell me about a time this month that you felt energized,” or, “What have you learned about yourself from working on this project?” Asking employees to look back on these moments helps you better understand what it took to get there — and what it will take to get there again. When employees hint at a challenge, try to draw out their concern. You might ask questions like: “What outcome are you trying to achieve? What have you tried so far to get there? How have you handled similar challenges in the past?” Then, help them shape the path forward. Let the employee offer ideas about next steps, but steer the conversation and offer concrete feedback. Close with questions like, “How do you think you’ll act on this?” and “What would happen if you tried this?” The best feedback helps your employees understand and build upon their strengths — and perhaps even see themselves in a new way.

This tip is adapted from “Good Feedback Is a Two-Way Conversation,” by Joe Hirsch

Share with cohorts