Mentors often ask us the best way to provide feedback to their mentees. This is an essential tool in the kit of every great mentor.
Feedback, like any powerful tool, can be used for good or bad. Use it wisely and watch your mentee grow before your eyes. Use it poorly and all you’ll see is low self-esteem and broken trust.
Bill Gates once said, ‘We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve’. Be that person!
The message behind every feedback is this, ‘I believe you are capable of doing better’. This is the difference between cut-downs and build-ups. Keep this at the heart of all your feedback and you’ll be off to a great start.
Feedback is great – but it is pretty useless without an action plan behind it. We provide a feedback form here for directing your mentor in their next steps. In this section, take the time to create an actionable plan to implement your feedback. This should include:
• Specific strategies an individual can use to improve their learning and performance.
• Achievable tasks set for them.
• Exercises or activities to further their learning – look at local classes or online programs.
• Steps that you, as the mentor, will take to help them learn from your feedback. This might be further research or a change of mentoring technique. Be humble and ready to be flexible.
Here are some more tips to remember when giving feedback:
Try to give feedback in real time during a session. Delaying feedback doesn’t get easier and can open the situation up to misinterpretation. But it’s also very valuable to provide written actionable follow-up feedback. For this we provide a form here.
Before giving feedback, take time to check in with your intentions and feelings. Make sure you’re not tired or frustrated. Good feedback always comes from good intentions. If you need to, take the time to cool off and give your feedback when you’re in a more neutral state of mind. Always give feedback with the sincere desire to help and not harm.
Avoid getting emotional or personal – keep it professional and logical and you’ll have a shining star of a mentee on your hands in no time!
Remember, feedback is for the sake of your mentee – not you. That means your feedback should be actionable, always.
Get in the habit of using feedback sandwiches for critical comments. This is feedback made with two positive statements on either side of your criticism. Here’s a quick example:
‘I love your enthusiasm. However, you need to be careful not to appear to aggressive in your communication. You have potential to harness this great quality and use it for good!’
You can find our mentor feedback form here – https://mentorselector.com/mentor-feedback/