The Feedback Planner Tool

Sharing feedback, especially criticism, is difficult enough as it is, yet, it can become more difficult if we become part of the problem.  Wrongful criticism is dangerous – it can use up energy and erode people’s motivation.  False of generalized praise also misses the mark.  Any potential gains get lost.  Having a good strategy by using the planner shown below will help you avoid having an ineffective session.

The Feedback Process/Planner

Stage 1: Describe Current Behaviors
Describe current behaviors that you want to reinforce (praise) or redirect (criticism) to improve a situation. Cite the employee’s specific behaviors – what they actually said or did, rather than personal traits or habits.  Then, focus on the impacts from this current behavior and opportunities for improvement.

Stage 2: Identify Situations
Identify the specific situation(s) where you observed these behaviors.  Be factual with examples.  Provide clear and specific situations when the current behavior was actually observed to substantiate behaviors.  Base your information on direct observations and solid documentation of facts.

Stage 3: Describe Impacts and Consequences
Describe the impacts and consequences of the current behaviors.  Identify precise impacts on business operations and consequences of the employee’s current behavior.  Then describe the impact/consequences of this behavior that affect the person directly.  Open a discussion on how to improve this behavior and be supportive.

Stage 4: Identify Alternative Behaviors
Identify alternative behaviors and actions for you, the employee, and others to take.  Encourage the employee to come up with alternative behaviors and action plans on his/her own.  Let the employee retain responsibility for current performance and be more committed to a plan he/she helped create.  Prepare to offer a few ideas of your own in case he/she asks for help.  Brainstorm alternatives with employees that may be tailored to various situations.

The feedback planner is a note-taking worksheet that helps you collect and analyze your thoughts about a situation prior to discussing it with another person.  It’s an effective way to provide immediate feedback to reinforce or redirect behavior to improve a situation.  Like any new skills/tools you need to practice.

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