leadership feedback models examples

Building Leaders: 6 Effective Leadership Feedback Models

Leaders are nurtured, rarely born. Leadership is one of the most used buzzwords in the business world. Moreover, companies invest thousands from their annual budgets training their managers on how to become effective leaders. 

However, 50% of new managers are rated as “ineffective in their roles” by their superiors and 40% completely fail within the first 18 months, according to research by leadership training provider, Center for Creative Leadership (CCL).

This may be for good reason, data provided by news outlet Forbes shows that only about 5% of humans “have the natural capacity” to become effective leaders.

That said, open communication and following with needed corrective actions are two strong foundations that allow managers to become leaders.

Why Feedback Matters in the Workplace

Whether you want to uncover the next group of leaders in your organization or help an individual hone their leadership skills, feedback is the first step.

Both, positive and negative feedback support team members and managers alike. It is a periodical and essential tool to drive employees to achieve their goals. Leadership is the same.

Feedback is a two-way street that can improve communication between managers and employees. Done correctly, feedback can help individuals with their self-development and career growth.

Moreover, it motivates employees, empowering them to overcome obstacles they may be facing and helping them to improve their personal and professional performance.

Finally, feedback is an excellent tool for resolving conflicts and, accordingly, boosting employee and team morale. It can also uncover potential leaders.

Read also: Why Improving Internal Communication Matters

Six Leadership Feedback Models

There are various leadership feedback models and examples. These are tools designed to help managers and leaders uncover unique skill sets that can bring about new leaders in an organization.

Feedback models focus on providing a combination of positive and constructive–not necessarily negative–feedback to employees. Feedback can cover work progress, the handling of specific situations, and educational progress, among other areas.

The target is to help this person grow personally and professionally so they can lead others.

 1- The Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) feedback model

The SBI leadership feedback model helps individuals reflect on certain situations by looking at them from a new perspective.

In other words, this method allows them to see the mistakes they may have made, other viewpoints, their behavior during that instance, and the impact of that behavior.

The SBI model is suited for quick feedback and helps employees see how they can improve or resolve a situation.

2- The Situation-Task-Action-Result (STAR) feedback model

The STAR method helps managers offer feedback on specific tasks, situations, or series of events. 

Managers describe the task or situation, the actions the employee has taken, whether positive or negative, and the results. They should explain why this particular result occurred and then go over what the employee could have done differently to get a better result. 

If the employee had acted correctly, the manager may note this and reward them accordingly.

One reason the STAR method is a great tool in developing new leaders is that it is concise and straightforward.

Read also: Can a Healthy Culture Boost Your Bottom Line?

 3- The EEC model

Short for Example-Effect-Change or Continue, the EEC model begins with the manager giving an example of an action or behavior and then clarifies the ‘effect’ of this action.

The next step is to provide feedback, be it positive or negative, and explain whether the employee should continue what they were doing or change their tactics. Hence the Change/Continue aspect.

Unlike other feedback models where the focus is on completed events or actions, the EEC model looks to the future. It’s suitable for ongoing events or actions taken regularly.

The EEC leadership feedback model may be referred to as the AID model, which stands for Action, Impact, and Desired behavior.

4- The Identify-Describe-Encourage-Action (IDEA) feedback model 

The IDEA model helps managers offer constructive feedback with the purpose of making a change and impacting future results. This is what a leader, or leader-in-progress, should aim for.

The manager or leader begins by identifying a situation, event, or behavior. Then, they ‘describe’ what has transpired and why this is a topic for discussion.

The next step is to ‘encourage’ the individual by offering help. This is not a step to convince them to change their behavior but rather to show them you’re there to help them. The final step is the action, where the manager highlights a course of action.

 5- The DESC feedback model

You Describe the situation, Express your impact, Specify a desired action, and mention potential Consequences. The DESC model is another way to structure feedback to develop a leader’s skills.

It primarily relies on being objective and using non-judgmental language in every step. In the DESC model, the manager begins by describing the situation or behavior observed. Then, they should express how the action or situation made them feel and how they believe it affected others.

The next step is to clarify what they expect the employee to do differently. It’s important to elicit a confirmation or agreement from them at this stage. Finally, the manager should clarify the consequences, or positive results, following the change in behavior or tactics.

6- The 360-degree feedback model

The 360-degree feedback model is both a type of performance appraisal for employees and an example of leadership feedback.

Under this model, an employee receives feedback from people they work with about their abilities and skills. Usually, that’s their manager and their peers. It can also include their subordinates if they are a manager or team leader.

These people fill out an anonymous survey and the answers are measured on a scale. Survey respondents can also leave comments. The team member also needs to fill out the same survey themselves.  

The reason the 360-degree feedback model is effective is in its ability to gather information from various sources, including the employees themselves. It also helps managers see what is working for that employee and what isn’t.

It evaluates the employee’s various skills, including listening and planning, and looks at how others perceive this person. It also explores areas such as how effective, or ineffective, the employee is in terms of collaboration, character, and leadership.

However, it’s worth mentioning that this type of feedback model does not consider aspects like sales quotas or job-specific technical skills.

Packaging matters

Accepting and handling feedback, no matter how constructive, is often difficult for the recipient, who can also perceive it as an attack. That’s why regardless of the feedback model adopted, pay close attention to the language used, tactfulness followed,  and their impact on the team.

It is also equally important to acknowledge reservations managers may have, as well as motivations or even roadblocks that are promoting internal issues.

Similarly, follow-up on feedback received from subordinates is crucially important. Everyone needs to know that their voices are heard, respected, analyzed, and acted upon.

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