A Better Feedback Format
A Star and A Wish reinforces positive behavior, and invites team members to share and spread these high performing habits. It’s a proactive practice that can be used far more frequently than quarterly or annual reviews. When you see something that needs to be addressed, simply follow the format:
- “I’ve noticed that…” (insert a positive observation behavior or habit).
- “I wish you could bring that…” (insert an event, time, or frequency to encourage the positive attribute).
A Star and A Wish is a framework all team members can use, not just managers. Creating a culture of positive and well-intentioned feedback can become a shared responsibility. Not only that, it can be used far more frequently than quarterly or annual reviews.
Putting Feedback into Context
A more constructive format isn’t enough. To set the appropriate tone and context, all opportunities to give and receive feedback should follow these principles:
- Make it timely. Provide feedback as soon as possible. It’s easier for someone to accept feedback after they make a mistake once; less so after a month of making that same mistake without any correction.
- Self-reflect first. Make sure that you are in the right frame of mind: calm and professional.
- Do it face-to-face. Use the person’s visual cues to see how your feedback is being processed, and adjust as needed. It also helps to provide feedback in a private area.
- Ask for permission. Find out if the person is open to receiving feedback, or if they would prefer to discuss it at another time.
- Be specific. Avoid generalizations. Your goal is to help improve their performance, so give feedback that they can put into action.
- Don’t make demands. Encourage the person to enact change, but avoid demands, which can be perceived as threats.
- Ask for feedback in return. You can always improve your delivery, so be open to feedback as well.
Whether or not you choose to use “A Star and a Wish”, remember that providing feedback should ultimately reinforce positive behavior and invite team members to share and spread high performing habits.