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Feedback Skills Training

Carolyne French

By Carolyne French, Head of Program Learning,
5 February 2024

Thinka’s ‘Deliver Feedback’ Workshop

Feedback has become a feared word but why? Granted it needs to be delivered with care but not delivering it to keep things ‘nice and polite’ is just as destructive. Building a safe feedback culture is the key to sustaining high performance. Once we know how to give outcome-focused and ‘fearless’ feedback, we realise it’s never personal and always about team success.

What teams will explore

  • A model for giving feedback such as ‘BIO’
  • Tough feedback and uncomfortable emotions
  • Facing roadblocks and resistance
  • Timely, relevant and specific feedback
  • When things don’t change: repeat offenders!

What teams will apply

  • A method for outcome-focused feedback
  • Strategies for giving ‘fearless feedback’
  • Techniques for breaking through blockers
  • Saying what you really mean, when it matters
  • Real-time check-ins and flexing your style
Workshop Purpose

This workshop helps leaders build communication skills, deliver effective feedback, and set action plans in place with their direct reports. When you have a leader who can give different types of feedback – both positive feedback and constructive feedback – you’re better able to achieve results and outcomes. In this increasingly complex world of work, employees need strong leadership, tools and strategies for growing their capabilities, so they can improve performance.

Working with organisations across Australia, ‘Deliver Feedback’ has been our most popular workshop for leaders. Here are a few reasons why feedback skills are so important for leaders:

  1. Underperformance: When employees underperform, it compromises results for teams and organisations. When leaders address underperformance and they understand the characteristics of effective feedback, it means behaviours are managed and areas for development are addressed. 
  2. Unprepared leaders: Often, leaders are promoted into positions without any real training or coaching in the skills they need to perform in this role. One of these key skills is delivering feedback and managing crucial conversations about behaviour and performance, so that goals and outcomes can be achieved. 
  3. Psychosocial hazards: Australian organisations are now responsible for doing more to protect their employees from psychosocial hazards. Leaders with effective feedback skills will become increasingly desirable, as the ability to manage behaviour and maintain a positive workplace culture will help to protect people from psychosocial risks. 
  4. Complex world of work: Living in a ‘VUCA’ (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environment means leaders and teams need to work together to overcome challenges. Covid recovery, economic instability and hybrid working have all had a profound emotional impact and leaders who can coach and feedback can support their direct reports through change. 
  5. Flatter hierarchies: More and more, organisations are becoming flatter with employees having more responsibility and autonomy. Leaders who support team members to develop initiative and skills in managing their own workflows help to drive better team performance. This supports stronger relationships and team building.

Overall, these challenges can make it more difficult for teams if they’re not skilled in giving effective feedback. However, with the right support such as Feedback Skills Training and coaching sessions, leaders can support their teams to thrive in this complex world of work.

Workshop Benefits

With the help of this Feedback Skills Training, leaders can enhance leadership effectiveness and skills in the following:

  1. Communication skills: Leaders who are skilled in giving feedback are better able to manage a range of behaviours and performance challenges in their direct reports. Leaders can also use these skills for informal feedback given on the go, and in more formal situations like performance management conversations and performance reviews. 
  2. Perspective taking: Leaders who can appreciate the different points of view of their direct reports will have better feedback conversations. Leaders can enhance their perspective-taking skills by staying calm and objective in situations, truly listening to their direct reports, and working together to find solutions. 
  3. Holding space: Leaders who can hold space for their direct reports are more likely to build better, healthier relationships in the work environment. Leaders can build this this capability by applying active listening skills, refraining from judgement, and displaying open body language and facial expressions. 
  4. Leadership development: Leaders who are capable of receiving feedback are better able to apply constructive actions to improve their performance. When leaders are prepared to modify their own behaviour and upskill, it makes them effective role models and helps them better understand how to give feedback to their direct reports as well. 
  5. Self-regulation: Leaders who can stay objective in tough feedback conversations and regulate their emotions, are better able to elicit performance from team members and maintain trust. This is important when leaders are giving negative feedback, as these conversations can be challenging and confronting.

By developing core skills in these areas, leaders can grow competency in communication and feedback skills and inspire higher performance in their teams.

Workshop FAQs

What is Feedback Skills Training?

This training course is specifically designed for leaders to develop fundamental skills in giving feedback and working constructively with their direct reports. It aims to provide learners with the skills, tools and role-playing to understand feedback models and how to structure feedback sessions. Our experienced facilitators have worked with many teams across Australia and draw from case studies and shared experiences to offer meaningful advice, practical strategies, and stories to learn from.

Why should my organisation offer Feedback Skills Training?

Being part of Feedback Skills Training can help leaders give feedback and inspire better performance. It supports leaders to break down barriers that affect their confidence in having tough feedback conversations. The workshop experience is designed to help leaders learn from each other and see how they might help each other grow communication and feedback skills.

Who can attend Feedback Skills Training?

Feedback Skills Training is designed for leaders. These skills help leaders set up feedback conversations, regulate their emotions, and continue to support their direct reports to achieve performance after the feedback session. A team leader might want to be involved in the session with their team too, so they can show the importance of giving each other feedback to achieve outcomes.

Is Feedback Skills Training only available in person?

This Feedback Skills Training Program can be delivered in an in-person, virtual or hybrid format; depending on the organisation’s set-up. It is interactive and typically made up of strategies, discussions and a series of activities to support professional development and real world application. The training can be complemented with coaching sessions with a Thinka coach. Coaching plays an important role in helping participants challenge old behaviours, biases and judgements, to open them up to collaborating with greater ease. Organisations might also opt for a blended program that makes use of eLearning modules and other forms of media as part of an online course.

Workshop Case Study

Deliver Feedback and Drive Accountability with Maroondah Leisure

 

1. What was the objective?

Maroondah Leisure (the leisure arm of Maroondah City Council) connected with Thinka off the back of a successful ‘Master Communication’ workshop. They were keen to progress with two additional workshops around feedback and accountability as a follow-up, in line with their goal to have a leadership team that works collaboratively, drives high performance, and consistently delivers quality feedback across the business.

2. How did we do it?

Thinka delivered two in-person workshops, each four hours in length. The two workshops were ‘Deliver Feedback’ and ‘Drive Accountability’, which included the strategies and tools participants needed to drive high performance and share feedback consistently across the business. These workshops were aimed at leaders and included a range of impactful experiential activities supported with deep discussions and take-away training materials to support skill application post-workshop.

3. How was it integrated and what were the results?

Throughout the workshops, participants received one-pagers that included tips, strategies and tools to support the learnings from the workshops. Participants can use these post-workshop to embed the learning, as evidenced by their first ‘Master Communication’ workshop – where the leadership team adopted language and concepts from the workshop, using the tools and templates in their team meetings.

After today, I'll be following up more with my team with good and constructive feedback. I really enjoyed getting together with my peers – the whole group was involved and engaged.

Deliver Feedback participant, Overdose

Workshop Outline

Delivery Options

In Person Workshop

Virtual Workshop

See Demo

Key Outcomes

1. Leaders who can effectively structure and deliver feedback.

2. Leaders who can navigate uncomfortable situations and emotions.

3. Leaders who can apply strategies to manage blockers (e.g. defensiveness).

4. Leaders who can apply different types of feedback in authentic ways.

5. Leaders who know how to respond to inaction and lack of commitment.

Target Audience

Leaders

Learning Approach

Experiential and application based learning

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Our in-person workshops maximise opportunities for robust conversation, experiential activities and intensive group work. This is no ‘death by PowerPoint’ experience – our facilitators are skilled in presenting and leading immersive experiences that get the most out of people. Supported by multimedia, attractive takeaway pages and practical strategies for using back on the job – our in-person workshops build a formidable bridge between exploration and application. We have a 10 person minimum for an in person workshop.

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Our virtual workshops breathe fresh life into the online experience with their almost ‘radio show’ feel. Our expert facilitators use a combination of multimedia, questioning techniques and break out activities to target micro-skills – with a focus on application. Supported by an online platform hosting custom-built workshop materials, participants can be assured of a lively, dynamic session that has a distinct bias to action. We have a 6 person minimum for a virtual workshop.
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This audience includes ‘middle management’ leaders who support team members in capability building. The skills are geared toward increasing leadership effectiveness and driving performance in team members in modern work contexts. These skills are flexible and built to grow with individuals as they evolve in their leadership journeys.
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Thinka believes that every learner needs to walk away being able to do something differently once they’ve engaged in a learning solution. The real power is in every individual applying their learning. Our behaviour-based methods, supported by the latest research, are key to making the steps for change relevant and realistic.

Thinka supports with methods like storytelling, experiential activities or rich questioning, but ultimately, we know the integration between solution and real world is the most crucial part of the learning experience. That is why we look for ways to ‘build a bridge’ between the solution we provide and what happens back out on the job.

Whether it’s an application template, a set of strategies, some tips or a ‘how to’ model – we work hard to provide every learner with not just information but the tools they need to make a real difference.

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