Here’s a good model to remind you of the best way to give feedback to a team member. Following it should be quite SIMPLE, as that is the acronym used to help you remember it:
The first letter ‘S’ stands for be ‘Sensitive’ to the emotions you are experiencing and how you want the other person to feel.
The ‘I’ stands for ‘Issue-related’. In other words, make sure that any feedback is specific about the main issue at hand. Don’t try to ‘sugar-coat’ the message by hedging your bets or skirting around. Be specific about the issue.
The ‘M’ stands for ‘Meaningful’, ensuring that the other person totally understands what the feedback is about and highlighting the real meaning behind it.
The ‘P’ stands for ‘Prompt’, making sure the feedback is a soon after the issue as possible. Talking about something that happened a week or two ago is naturally going to cause problems in recalling specifics.
‘L’ stands for ‘Listen’ to exactly what the other person says, without prejudice or judgment, so they can help you understand the reasoning behind what happened.
And the ‘E’ stands for ‘Easy to Understand’, allowing the other person to see the value of the feedback and offer an explanation if necessary.
By keeping feedback SIMPLE, you create an environment for quality feedback, both ways, and keep the lines of communication wide open between you.