When dealing with your personal assistant it’s vital to give feedback. After all, if you don’t provide feedback to them (both good and areas for improvement), how will they improve? The skills for feedback is an important skillset to have, for your own personal development in leadership and to ensure you get the most out of your staff. But giving feedback to employees is not as easy as you might first think.
No one can read minds – so it’s important you give feedback to reflect a truthful and honest perspective. But remember, your truth might be different from others, so tread carefully.
Here are our top 10 ways of giving feedback to employees, including your personal assistant – making them the best personal assistant they can be.
1. Positive Makes Negative Easier
It sounds strange. But the more positive affirmation (which are true) you give, the easier it will be for your personal assistant to hear negative or constructive feedback. Don’t go overboard, giving too much positive feedback can remove the impact, and giving none at all and then suddenly giving some can be like buying your other half a bouquet of flowers – they will get suspicious if this isn’t normal behaviour!
2. Don’t Hesitate
It might feel easier to do the feedback at the appraisal or formal meeting, but in fact, giving feedback to employees can be easily passed on immediately and in turn, can have an immediate effect. Your PA will always know where they stand.
It can be a good technique to use yourself as an example when giving feedback to employees. For example, if your PA is sometimes late to a meeting, start the conversation by saying: ‘I was late to a meeting the other day and I felt it made a really bad impression on my clients – what do you think?’ Draw them into the conversation about your own error and see if they are able to reflect on their own behaviour. You’ll be surprised how then you’ll see changes made as they will realise you value this specific task as high value.
It may seem like a good idea to emotionally react to a situation. You may feel passion creating a whole range of emotions. Take a moment and breathe. Giving feedback to employees is best given when you are calm and reflective, able to clearly convey your thoughts in a concise way.
When you are giving your constructive feedback, ensure you listen to the other version. As we’ve mentioned above, your truth will be different to another person’s truth. So hear their side of events and opinions and try to empathise – this will help you develop as a leader, but also be able to take appropriate steps and reaction to the new information you are given from your personal assistant.
6. Safe Space
Try to avoid giving feedback to employees over email. Also, avoid giving it in a shared environment or public meeting. Instead, try to keep your constructive feedback to a private setting and in person. This way it will be a safe space for your personal assistant to be open to the instructions and not feel embarrassed or vulnerable.
Try to be fair when giving feedback to employees, and stick to the point at hand. Don’t bring in any other issues which might have been reoccurring as this will muddy the conversation. Keep it focused on ideally one point of feedback and keep it fair. If it’s the first time they’ve made the mistake then there is room to be lenient. If its the 20th after continual feedback then its time to be sterner.
The more detail you can provide in a positive and constructive way, the more your personal assistant will understand with complete clarity the feedback being passed on. Use specific examples, give detail and try not to use emotive language. Stick to the facts.
9. Accept Feedback in Return
A good leader and mentor means that you can equally accept feedback. Encourage your personal assistant to give you feedback on things you can change to help them do a better job – you might be surprised on what you hear! A true leader can adapt and change too – so keep that in mind.
10. Next Steps
Make a record of your constructive feedback to employees and how it was shared and received. This is important to track the development and learning of your own leadership and the progress of your personal assistant. It is important to keep records so you can reflect on positive change and development and also spot any reoccurring issues.
Remember that practice makes perfect. By inspiring your personal assistant with constructive feedback, you’ll gain a long-term and trusted employee. If you need any further advice or need help finding your next perfect personal assistant we’d love to help – why not get in touch with us today?