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Using The AID Model To Give Feedback

In our professional lives, feedback can be daunting to give and receive. Often, we’re our own worst enemies – we can sometimes think that giving feedback will see people unhappy with us. Equally, when we ask for feedback, we often expect the worst. 

 

But as a leader, giving effective feedback is crucial. It can have a significant impact on our professional relationships, not to mention the success of our organisation. 

 

One thing we frequently hear at The Leadership Coaches is that leaders – whether they’re new to a role or have been in a role for five years – feel apprehensive about conflict, developing talent, and holding people to account. The one thing that these all have in common is the need for giving effective feedback.  

 

In this blog, we share why giving effective feedback is important, how you can use the AID model to give feedback, and 4 other tips to support you. 

 

Why Giving Effective Feedback as a Leader is Important 

As a leader, providing effective feedback is paramount for several reasons. When you give feedback, you can foster growth, support your people in developing a growth mindset, and cultivate a positive work environment. 

 

But that’s not all. Giving effective feedback as a leader is also linked to: 

 

  • Insight into strengths and opportunities for development, leading to increased individual performance. 

  • Empowered employees who can achieve their full potential.  

  • Fostering a culture of continuous learning, where team members feel valued and supported in their professional journey. 

  • More effective communication, where each person feels able to share their thoughts freely.  

  • Stronger team dynamics that drive collaboration and innovation. 

  • Improved abilities to have difficult conversations, such as those linked to health issues, including menopause, diversity, neurodiversity in the workplace, inclusion, and potentially conflict. 

 

Using The AID Model to Give Feedback 

A simple model for giving clear feedback, the AID model is brilliantly easy to remember and is popular with our clients for giving feedback. 


The AID Model

The model can be used for providing both positive and developmental feedback and we recommend starting with a collaborative approach rather than a directive style.

Remember to introduce feedback in a way that shows that you genuinely want to help the other person develop or improve something and share why you want to help them e.g. you care about their development, you want to support them in achieving the best results for themselves, their colleagues and the organisation, etc. Authenticity is key here!


Examples of using the AID model:

Positive:

“When you dealt with the customer complaint last week, you were honest with the customer and very clear and helpful in your communication. They were pleased with how the issue was resolved. Keep doing this – it was really effective.”

Developmental:

“When I suggested you could take on this project, you said you did not want to take on additional responsibility although you would have some time at the moment. This means that someone else in the team has to take it on in addition to the other new projects they are already taking on, which is a problem. I would like you to give it a try and I will support you with it.”

4 Additional Tips for Giving Effective Feedback as a Leader 

Though there are a wealth of benefits associated with giving effective feedback as a leader, it’s estimated that approximately 44% of leaders feel that giving negative feedback is stressful.  

 

In addition to this, leaders often avoid giving feedback due to factors including: 

 

  • Concerns about impact and effectiveness. 

  • Fear of causing conflict if the feedback is considered negative by the recipient. 

  • Lacking communication skills and confidence to give feedback in a constructive manner. 

 

So, what can leaders do to feel more comfortable with giving effective feedback? We share 4 tips below. 

 

1. Ask For Feedback 

Like with many things, one way you can learn how to give effective feedback is to ask for it yourself. Although this can be daunting, seeking feedback from peers or your managers can help you understand how to deliver it to others. 

 

Not only does asking for feedback help you role model, but it shows that you’re willing to learn more about your own strengths and areas for development. You can gain different perspectives, create a culture of openness, and improve your own performance to drive positive outcomes for both you and your team.  


Sharing effective feedback at work using the AID model

 

2. Focus on Behaviour 

When giving feedback, focusing on behaviour rather than personality is recommended. In this instance, concentrate on specific actions, behaviours, or outcomes, rather than the person themselves.  

 

For example, avoid using any language that may label or criticise the person. Instead, describe the impact of their actions – if delivering constructive feedback – and talk about how the situation could be different in the future.  

 

Not only does this make the feedback appear more constructive, but it reduces the possibility of defensiveness, which could lead to conflict.  

 

3. Encourage Self-Assessment and Reflection 

Giving effective feedback is all good and well, but to really make a difference, encourage self-assessment and reflection. 

 

By this, we mean encourage individuals to reflect on their own performance before you give them feedback. This allows them to identify areas of strengths and room for improvement independently, leading to self-awareness and accountability. 

 

When you speak with them, you can ask them to share their self-assessment with you, and include this into the discussion, validating their insights and providing perspective where necessary.  

 

4. Provide Ongoing Support 

Whilst this point may seem obvious, after giving feedback it’s important to provide ongoing support. This could include following up with the individual after sharing feedback them to check on their progress, offer additional guidance, and to see if they have any questions or thoughts to share with you. 

 

Regardless of whether the feedback you share is positive or constructive, it’s also important to reinforce your commitment as a leader to their development. Offer to support them in implementing feedback or addressing challenges they may encounter, for example, and arrange regular check-ins. 

 

Executive Coaching to Support Feedback Delivery 

For many leaders, taking advantage of executive coaching can be hugely beneficial in learning how to give effective feedback. 

 

Working with a coach can support you in developing strategies to give feedback and help you consider your approaches. 

 

Coaching can also assist you in: 

 

  • Refining your communication skills. 

  • Increasing effectiveness in delivering feedback. 

  • Practicing giving feedback in a supportive environment. 

  • Taking different perspectives into consideration. 

 

Contact Us Today 

To find out more about how executive coaching can support you in giving effective feedback, contact us today.  

 

With a team of passionate experts and executive coaches, we’re sure that we’ll be able to match you with a coach who will be able to support you best. 

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