WORKING LIVES - FEEDBACK

Giving feedback is a valuable skill. It allows you to brief staff on their performance and reinforce goals.

Without it, staff could take their skills elsewhere. But the prospect of delivering constructive but potentially harsh advice puts off many managers.

Dr Rob Yeung, a director at business psychology consultancy Talentspace, says this is understandable. 'It can be difficult to create a culture of giving and receiving feedback because the recipients often ignore the message and shoot the messenger, ' he says.

'Often there is not enough 'in it' for the person giving feedback. If the recipient is going to be angry or dismissive, why should anyone bother?

'So it helps to explain the purpose of feedback and ensure people give it in a constructive fashion.' This is a golden rule - it should be impartial and never personal. For it to be effective you need to be plain speaking:

back up your point by specifying the action or behaviour you are referring to.

Dr Yeung advises managers not to put off feedback until the formal annual review. 'Managers can make it easier to give feedback by making it a systematic part of what goes on in the team. For example, perhaps the manager could encourage members of the team to give feedback to each other once a month.'