How to provide effective feedback

Time after time we are told that the best run projects are the ones where all parties feel like a collaborative team rather than a hierarchical system of clients and suppliers.  Key in creating the collaboration is open and honest communications.

Feedback is one of the easiest tools to use to improve project performance and catch potential problems before they escalate.  The concern that it might make uncomfortable reading should be balanced with the fact that if it is uncomfortable then it is best to get it out in the open sooner rather than later.  If a project is going well then it also provides the opportunity to put it on record and give your supplier or client a confidence boost.

The Indigo& platform offers the opportunity for 360⁰ project feedback either monthly or quarterly.  The trends in scoring, and the qualitative comments allow early identification of risks and give time for positive steps to improvement to be taken, in many cases before the risks are realised.

There are a number of key rules for providing effective feedback.  These are:

·       Honesty and openness is essential for the feedback to be relevant;

·       Feedback is for the recipient not the provider – think about the impact of your message;

·       Points raised should be specific with examples where possible;

·       Where feedback is negative, provide suggestions and alternatives to improve the situation;

The best relationships between clients and suppliers are those based on honesty and openness.  If something is going well then both sides need to know about it.  Equally, where there are areas for improvement it is essential for the long-term health of the relationship that these are shared. 

Michael Gifford, COO Indigo&

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