So you are a leader and a coach — and you need to give someone some feedback. Most people would focus on getting their facts together and thinking about how they are going to give feedback.
That is fine preparation, but it is only half of what you should do, based on what I call the biggest secret when giving feedback. (Here is a short video where I talk about it.)
In short, that secret is that the best way to start giving feedback is to ask the other person what they are thinking first. After all, it is their performance and they will be the one that has to take action and make changes in the future, right?
So rather than focusing solely on what you are going to say, why not prepare the questions you will ask them as a part of the feedback or coaching session?
Here are some questions to put in your arsenal:
- How did it go?
- What bothered you?
- What were you most pleased by?
- What do you wish would have gone better?
- What do you wish you would have done differently?
- What went better than expected?
- How else were you surprised?
- What would you do differently next time?
- What would you repeat?
- What is your single biggest opportunity for improvement?
- What is your biggest success in this situation?
- What feedback do you want from me?
- How can I help you now?
Using these questions (or those you create that are like these) will set you up for a much more successful feedback or coaching session, with less stress, less defensiveness, and a much better chance for improvement on the part of the person you are coaching.
And isn’t that the goal of the coaching to start with?