My career has been filled with feedback from mentors, candidates, clients, managers, and colleagues—all of it welcomed and appreciated! However, giving feedback can be a challenge if you strong communication is not a skill that you’ve mastered yet. Throughout my professional years, I’ve been told in order to improve relationships with clients and co-workers it’s best to communicate feedback with a positive beginning and ending with the message in between. But this “sandwich” type of feedback is one of the biggest mistakes you can do while giving feedback because often the message will be lost.
In consulting meetings with both clients and candidates, most of our conversations are for interviews, prepping for interviews, debriefs, and discussing next steps in the interview process. Often, we provide feedback to both the client and candidate to help improve hiring in the future. Recently, I had scenario where a client was impressed with a candidate and expressed that to the individual, as well as their interest in next steps for hiring.
However, later when debriefing with the client, they had voiced they would like to go in another direction from the initial candidate. I provided the feedback to the client that expressing the future in the interview should be withheld unless there’s follow through on that statement and they agreed. When discussing with the candidate that the client is going in a different direction and offering advice about needing more leadership experience, feedback was unfortunately not received well.
At Aureus Group, we use the SBI Method to provide feedback. SBI Method simply stands for Situation, Behavior, Impact. Simply stated, feedback is when you take time to speak with (on the phone, in person, or virtually), provide them with the exact moment in time of when the situation happened; use verbs to describe the behavior experienced; and express what that situation had you feeling in that moment of time or the impact the situation had on you. When you state your feedback with clear and concise message, the person on the receiving end will understand and take feedback well. They will also be able to state during the feedback session that they will change that behavior for the future. This is the gift received.
Be specific, provide judgment on the behavior, and give others positive feedback for their positive behavior regularly. The gift of feedback will be easier to give when you provide positive feedback in daily situations. This is how the skill of giving feedback is strengthened. Remember when someone gives you feedback, the actions of change to follow is the gift received.
Aubrey has been with Aureus Group since 2013. She’s currently a Sales Manager, helping out our Executive Search and Interim Leadership division