Giving meaningful and developmental feedback is one of the most effective tools to help people learn how to do things the right way.
And this applies to learning how to give Real Recognition™ the right way, too.
In this post, I will share some essential knowledge gleaned from research that will give you practical insights and principles to use feedback properly. I’ll share what the purpose of feedback should be, how timing plays a role, the effects of feedback and the responses to expect from learners.
Rarely are we taught how to give effective and meaningful feedback.
Take a deeper dive on how continuous feedback helps people learn how to give better recognition the right way.
Purpose of Feedback
You want to be informative when you’re giving feedback to someone on how they are doing with learning specific behaviors in giving recognition. You’re telling them how what they said to express recognition to a colleague sounded like to you, what caused you to nod or shake your head, and how their words made you or others feel.
Your feedback may be corrective pointing out how they missed certain behaviors. Perhaps the recognition expression was too general, or they may have missed telling the intended recognition recipient the impact their actions made on someone.
Giving feedback enables the learner of recognition to self-regulate their recognition skills each time they give recognition thereafter. Your feedback will help them plan better recognition next time, monitor their actions when giving recognition, and then reflecting on how they did afterward and how they perceived the reaction of the recipient of recognition.
Your goal with giving feedback to learners of recognition is to reduce the discrepancy between their current understanding and skills in giving recognition, and the desired way of giving meaningful and effective recognition.
Ways to Receive Feedback.
People genuinely want to give recognition the right way because they know what it is like to receive Real Recognition™ done properly. They want others to have positive feelings from their spoken or written expressions of recognition
A learner’s goal is to apply what they have learned from the feedback and put it into action.
If you or an organizational trainer is teaching them recognition giving skills, then you can give oral feedback to individuals as you hear them role play certain recognition behaviors.
Another method to receive feedback is to video record them giving recognition to fellow learners using specific scenarios given to them. They can use this with an observation checklist to get self-feedback on how they did based on the target skills they were to practice.
A peer observer can help where you create triads to practice giving recognition. One learner is the recognition giver, another is the recipient of the recognition, and the third person is the peer observer who can give their best feedback on the performance.
Receiving verbal feedback from an instructor or a peer is the most intimate and meaningful type of feedback. Written feedback is okay but must always be clear and specific to have any real value.
Finally, there is self-feedback and reflection where learners can write their observations and feelings on a sheet or in a journal. They can show how they did, what they might correct in the future, what went well, and how they personally felt and their perceptions, or feedback, of the receiver of recognition
Timing of the Feedback
Most people prefer immediate feedback or shortly thereafter to that of delayed feedback.
It appears from research that timely feedback is the most motivating. However, delayed feedback works best when tasks are complex. Fortunately, in dealing with behavioral learning like how to give recognition properly, you can rely on immediate or timely feedback.
Effects of Giving Feedback
When you give feedback to someone you convey knowledge to them, such as knowledge of their results or performance, and knowledge about the correct response or action. Each recognition learner needs to know what success looks like for them.
You may give explanatory feedback by providing hints or additional information on how to make the recognition better based on behaviors and principles they have learned. Never say they are a “good recognizer” which is feedback that asserts their ability. If they should slip up on a subsequent giving of recognition, this might deflate their self-esteem. Always give feedback based on the effort given and the behaviors you observed.
If a person did not give recognition to someone the right way, give them the reason why they are incorrect and the implications for why that is important. Never give harsh feedback to a person. Simply focus on giving them information on what to do next time.
Any learner should never feel uncomfortable when receiving feedback. This is all about learning new skills and incrementally getting better each time they perform.
Responses to Feedback
The job of yours, and others’ feedback, is to show how effectively the person has learned recognition giving skills.Feedback promotes feelings that learners are in control of their own learning.It helps to shape their attributions for success and failure. It allows the learner a sense of personal competency in what they have learned.
I base the value of the feedback that you give to learners of recognition skills and behaviour on several factors:
- The learner will determine the value of the feedback by their attitude.
- Feedback value will be related to the task and goals expected.
- The instructor will determine the value of the feedback.
- The learner-teacher relationship will affect the value.
- The actual content of the feedback message affects the value.
Always remember that good feedback is always descriptive, whether it is positive or negative. Make your feedback affirming and developmental.
Learning how to give recognition the right way thrives on feedback!
Recognition Reflection: How are you using feedback to help people give more meaningful and frequent recognition?
Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.