Performance Management Feedback Models
In performance management providing feedback is critical for improving performance.
Feedback models help new managers and team leaders to develop their feedback skills. There are several different frameworks which can help guide managers and leaders.
COBS feedback model – or CORBS to be precise.
Principles of CORBS feedback model:
Clear statement – give clear and concise information.
Owned by the person speaking – your own perception, not the ultimate truth. How it made you feel. Use terms such as “I find” or “I felt” and not “You are”.
Regular – give immediately or as close to the event as possible. NEVER delay
Balanced – balance negative and positive feedback. DO NOT overload with negative feedback.
Specific – base your feedback on observable behaviour. Behaviours that the recipient can change.
History of CORBS feedback model
The earliest reference I have been able to find for this is from by Peter Hawkins and Robin Shohet in their book Supervision in the Helping Professions (2000).
The model appears to have developed in the world of teaching medicine, and in 2012 moved into wider general management training. In its level 3 manager course on performance management, the ILM calls the feedback model COBS, and for many managers this is their first introduction to the model.
Other feedback models include:
BOOST – (Balanced, Owned, Observed, Specific, Timely and Two Way)
Start, Stop, Continue, Change
Even better if…
BEEF – Behaviour (what the person does or did) – Example (a specific instance) – Effect (the effect it had on you or someone else or on the outcome) – Future (what you want to happen from now on)
Tips for providing effective feedback
· If the word feedback provokes negative reactions consider using words such as ‘tips’.
· Research the specifics before the conversation. Help the individual understand the details, not just top level issues. Be specific. Give examples.
· Acknowledge both positive traits and areas for improvement throughout the discussion.
· Provide feedback on a regular basis. Not just when something has gone wrong.
· Inquire – Start by asking the person of any self-assessment on the area of development. Gain some ownership first.
· Development issue. Start with the development issue. Never start with praise before giving negative feedback. See Sh*t Sandwich
· Body language. Make sure your body language is congruent with your message
· Imitation. Avoid the tendency to praise and miss the mistakes of those who remind us of ourselves.
· Limit each formal feedback session to one or two topics.
· Tie the behaviour or issue to performance goals.
· Plan your feedback. Write out what you want to say before the meeting.
In clinical education settings rules for providing developmental feedback were developed by Pendleton (1984).
1. Check the learner wants and is ready for feedback.
2. Let the learner give comments/background to the material that is being assessed.
3. The learner states what was done well.
4. The observer(s) state what was done well.
5. The learner states what could be improved.
6. The observer(s) state how it could be improved.
7. An action plan for improvement is made.
Where of course the observer is the line manager or coach.
There is no reason why a modern manager should not adopt these well-grounded principles when providing behavioural feedback to team members.
CORBS method of feedback is a useful model or framework for all managers and educators. It is of particular value in the feedback of behavioural and development performance management issues or needs.