Lessons in Retail | Feedback: Take it like a Champ.
No one wants to hear negative feedback; we are born, bred and raised to learn that the only good feedback is positive. What if I were to tell you (and I know you already heard this mind numbing cliche) that all feedback is a gift. To hear what is going right gives you a natural high, but to hear what opportunities that need to be improved upon can be like an Ostrich tap dancing on your back while listening to Tiny Tim singing Tip Toe through the Tulips.
Listen, when someone gives someone feedback it is for one reason; to help you strengthen that particular skill or fill in the gap with another skill that will help overshadow your opportunity.
Finding out that you have opportunities that need to be corrected, realigned, or whatever the industry is calling it now can be painful because it is a shot to your Ego, BUT, the way it is delivered will usually cover the blow to the butterflies in your stomach.
Giving and getting feedback is very personal and needs to be delivered in a way that is personal, non threatening and impactful.
WHEN GIVING FEEDBACK: Here are some of the rules of the game so you hopefully won’t have to repeat the experience with the same Employee twice:
- Schedule a meeting NOW with the Employee. Feedback needs to be given in the moment. Too many days in advance will make an already Employee nervous and may send them in a tail spin.
- Some of us get nervous when giving feedback: Don’t be as you are doing this because you care about the Employees success want to see them succeed.
- Hold the meeting in a “Safe Zone” where there will be no interruptions, phone calls, email, pizza delivery, etc… BE PRESENT!
- Ask the Employee why do they think you are meeting with them.
- Get straight to the point with examples of the behaviours you would like them to work on and how you will help them to succeed to improve them. Please ensure that what you are highlighting can be rolled back to their Job Description.
- Listen, Listen and Listen as this may come as a surprise to you, they may have some Feedback for you.
- Write, Write and Write down everything since our attention and memory spans are as big as a……ooops forgot. If your Company has a formal procedure for giving Feedback, please use that and don’t reinvent the wheel.
- Have your Employee repeat back what you just said to validate their understanding.
- Thank them for their time and understanding and set a checkin date to follow up on their progress. Enter it into your calendar right then and there.
WHEN GETTING FEEDBACK: Here are some of the rules of the game so you hopefully won’t become Yosemite Sam from Bugs Bunny when he gets frustrated:
- Listen to what is being said. There will be some great points that are being shared with you.
It is not Personal so let down your guard and stop thinking ahead as to the venom you want to spit back.
- Accept what is being said BUT if it is not factual please in a polite manner bring that up. This is not a war of minds but a meeting of minds that want to reach the same outcome
- Take notes, otherwise everything that is being shared with you will be forgotten due to your fight or flight thought process.
- Please remember that receiving feedback demonstrates that the person on the other end wants you to succeed otherwise this would not have been a “Feedback” session but something of another nature.
- After the feedback, take time to reflect on it. What did you learn, what are you going to change and is there anything else that needs further clarification that you are allowed to ask to understand better.
Giving or receiving feedback is not always fun and is part of the job as Leader, Coach or Manager in this Soap Opera of retailer.
Hey! Getting positive feedback is a phenomenal feeling and puts that pep back in your Step.
To the people giving the feedback, please remember that besides giving it please place a copy of the feedback in the Employees file so when it comes to evaluation time you have some great notes and feedback to share.
Would you like to learn more about “Receiving or Giving Feedback” or how we can help?