Management 101: Providing Effective Feedback

by Laura Forshay, Professional Development Manager, METRO


In a competitive work environment, promotion to a management position is exciting and gratifying. However, as many of us know, it can also be quite daunting.

You’ve already proved yourself by producing high quality work as an information professional. Now you are expected to manage the people who do that work. You’ve likely realized that skills honed in previous positions do not always translate into effective management. The good news: by practicing and mastering a few key management roles, you can use your existing expertise to ensure quality work from your entire team.

2015040_ProvidingEffectiveFeedback.jpgOne of the most vital tasks of a manager is also one of the most difficult: giving effective feedback. Much has been said about the dangers of micromanagement, but it’s still important to reinforce expectations and practice reflection in the workplace when giving feedback, whether it is negative or positive, to your employees.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take in order to foster a constructive conversation with your report.

First, if you are addressing a problematic issue, focus on concrete observations. Separate the objective from the subjective, and avoid making inferences about a report’s performance. By speaking only to what you have observed, you will keep the conversation from turning into a personal attack and provoking defensiveness.

Second, don’t forget to ask questions. There may be information that you, as a manager, do not have. Allowing reports to voice their own perspectives will provide greater context and, in the end, will build a more trusting relationship. Asking quesitons will also give you both an opportunity to agree on next steps. After all, feedback doesn’t mean much if you leave the conversation with two different takeaways.

To learn more about giving feedback and other vital management competencies, join us at METRO for our Management Institute on May 4th and 5th.