On our management and train the trainer courses I am fortunate enough to meet some great people.  One thing that always surprises me though, is the lack of feedback given by managers and trainers to members of staff or individuals we are training. Whether you're a manager or a trainer, you need to know how to give effective feedback.  Not only is it an essential tool to learn but also part of the effective communication process.  Follow the steps below, and I guarantee you will get your message across more effectively. 

Stage 1 Ask Them First - We must ask "How do you feel it went?" or words to that effect.  Remember some essential areas here is that first, we must always listen when we ask this question and second give individuals time to respond. Remember, Introverted types will need more time to reflect.  You can always probe by asking "Why...what happened" etc

Stage 2 Review What Was Done Well - This is essential to motivate and to get individuals into a positive state of mind. We must find things that were done well. Stage 3 Areas for Development - This is the crucial area of feedback and in other words, the areas that the individual needs to work on.  Development areas are often overlooked if the person giving feedback doesn't want to give the bad news part we aren't giving feedback.  We may use other skills here, particularly if the individual doesn't understand; we may have to 'reason' with them for them to understand fully. Stage 4 Reinforcing What Was Done Well - An opportunity for motivation and possibly linking to next steps too, especially if there were several development areas.  Always deliver this positively. Stage 5 They Tell Areas for Development - Remember for feedback to work; this has to come from the individual receiving the feedback.  We are checking to understand and by getting them to tell us will remove any misunderstanding.  However, remember this isn't just asking "So you're ok with everything?" We are getting them to tell us how they need to improve. Stage 6 Ask Any Questions - Essential in case the individual has a question but doesn't want to ask without prompting.

Remember, follow these stages to improve the feedback process and to ensure that the message was clearly understood.

Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development.  You can read more about him here.