As a broker-owner or team leader, your agents look to you for leadership and guidance. Offering sales associates constructive feedback is an important way to share your vision and help them improve their skillset.
Here are five tips to help you provide advice that associate brokers, agents, and team members can use to reach their sales goals. Chances are these tips will lead to more trusting relationships among those in your office and greater productivity for everyone.
- Check your biases. Before you even consider offering feedback, be honest with yourself about your own biases. All of us have different points of view, so make sure your viewpoints are not based in sexism, racism, or ableism. Masala Dukuly, director of learning and development with LifeLabs Learning, says, “We are all biased…you can be a well-meaning, good human being and still be biased.” Don’t project your biases onto other people.
- Make feedback a dialogue. Create a conversation with your agents that begins with asking them to “consent” or “opt in” to receiving feedback. Approach them by saying something like, “I’d like us to take some time together to talk about ways to work with new prospects. Is that okay with you?” By asking for permission, you are creating a situation that gives her or him room to respond, participant in the feedback, and learn rather than become defensive or feel “on the spot.”
- Make your feedback specific and objective. Offer one or two examples in your conversation. Don’t generalize or use vague language. Instead of saying, “You seem unengaged,” say, “It’s important to me that all of our team members respond to client messages, regardless of whether the messages are phone calls, emails, or texts, within five minutes of receiving them during our business hours.”
- Make your feedback central to the situation at hand. Let’s say the team member was late to an important sales meeting. You might say something like, “Because you were late to the team meeting yesterday, the team lost momentum developing our strategy going forward with a prospect we’ve been hoping to land as a client. I want to encourage you to arrive on time and prepared.”
- Welcome the opportunity to receive feedback from your agents. Even though it can feel hard or uncomfortable, when you approach feedback as dialogue at your company, chances are that everyone involved—including you—will be able to learn and improve from the experience. We have no doubt that your agents will share feedback with you that will help you improve your communications and leadership skills. Perhaps their feedback will also help you become more clear, specific, and effective in your constructive criticism.
Providing feedback should a two-way street that can be a win-win situation for everyone in the office.