As a Supervisor/Manager are you afraid to give feedback?

Are you afraid of giving feedback to under performing team members because you are concerned with how they will react? You are not alone! Many managers who attend our Leadership and Management Skills Courses have booked places to help them address these fears and become more confident in handling specific individuals in their teams.

Best practice in giving feedback includes:

1. Prepare for the conversation ensuring you are clear about what needs to change
2. Getting into the habit of making it a continuous learning process by providing regular feedback
3. Be timely about negative feedback normally within a couple of days
4. Provide them with the opportunity to respond to your observations/situation – they might have a good reason for their actions/behaviour. Remember you might not have all the facts! Influencing you flow both ways on getting a clearer view so be open minded to the facts before making hasty decisions on who is right and wrong.
5. Be specific about what has been done or not done avoiding the ‘You’ language. ‘I’ frame the feedback so they can only come back at you rather the ‘We’ approach.
6. Ask open questions to collect information to enable you to make an inform decisions on ‘what next?’
7. Be clear how their behaviour/actions have affected others – includes internal (colleagues) and external customers
8. Agree what the future looks like and keep the actions SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound)
9. Using a coaching feedback style with open questions to get them to identify the solution(s)
10. Reinforce improvements and/or provide more coaching to maintain momentum
11. Be reflective on how the feedback went and how you can be even more effective next time

If you need help in developing and advancing your feedback skills then join us on one of our Leadership and Management Courses – click here for more details

or call us on 01423 861122 or email us at

Do you need to fire a member of staff?

If you’ve ever had to fire someone, my guess is you didn’t enjoy doing it. I am also guessing they didn’t enjoy it much either.

However, it is perfectly possible to fire a poor performing individual and for them to thank you.

According to Sue Ingram, author of ‘Fire Well – How to fire staff so they thank you’ this is achieved, not by the words that are used, but by the intent behind the words. The same words can be delivered with contempt or concern – creating very different results.

The aim is to hold a positive intention during the conversation, but with some individuals, particularly those that are practiced at being negative or difficult, this can be very challenging. So how do you do it?

1) How do you want the individual concerned to behave? Professional, respectful, honest and willing to listen with an open mind seeking positive solutions? If so then you must first act in this manner. Fail and you give permission for the individual to match whatever your behaviour becomes.

2) Have the sole objective of the conversations to achieve the best outcome for the individual; that they become both personally fulfilled and successful at their work; be that with you or elsewhere. This in turn will also be the right outcome for your organisation.

3) Balance any negative feedback with positive. Often, when people receive negative feedback, they expand it to affect everything always; that they are, and always will be, useless. This leaves them with no energy to improve or confidence to resign. Give them the hard message but also make them aware of their natural talents, your appreciation for what they do well and with a feeling of resilience.

In summary, at all times recognise, respect and speak to the human being behind the failure. Do everything possible to move them into a job role where they will succeed, even if that means firing them. Maintain this as your outcome and you have greatly increased the possibility of being thanked as you walk them out of the door.

If you feel you need help managing staff, dealing with poor performing staff, or you need to improve your HR knowledge and skills – check out our range of training courses including:

Management Development Programme
Coaching and Mentoring Skills for Managers
Employment Law and People Management Skills
How to effectively handle disciplinaries and grievances