Our last inbounds ski day was last week.  Instead of being a warm spring day (like normal in late April), it was a stormy winter day.  I loved it!

I got some feedback from my wife: “I’m a fair weather skier! I don’t like winter storms!”

This is our 8yr old who got to ski with some older friends on the last day of the year:

I’ve often talked about the importance of giving good feedback, but what does good feedback look like?

What kind of feedback would your OFS best respond to?

1. Timely and immediate. Don’t wait for days or weeks before giving feedback on your OFS’ work. Give feedback as soon as you notice something. If they’ve done well, they’ll remember what they did. If you’re giving constructive criticism, they’ll know what went wrong because their memory of what they did is still fresh. If you wait days or weeks, they’ve forgotten details.

2. Specific. Snagit has been really helpful for this. I take screen recordings of their work, and I point out exactly what I like and what needs changing. I’ll say, “I like the color for this button,” or “The text for this part of the page needs to be a little bigger.”
I’ll record and explain and talk for as long as I think necessary.  Sometimes I go overboard.

Here’s how I setup Snagit to save my videos permanently. (scroll down on the page)

3. The Sandwich Method. Before giving any negative feedback, I make sure to start and end the conversation with sincere praise. I’d say, “Good job on fixing that issue on project A. However, I noticed that you missed this mistake on project B. I know you can fix this because you’ve done a great job fixing a similar issue on project C.”

Filipinos are people pleasers. When they make a mistake, they take it really hard and would get easily embarrassed. I talk about this in-depth in my book, the Outsourcing Lever. By sandwiching your criticism with praise, you’re letting them know that you still have faith in their abilities even though they did something wrong.

As foreign bosses, we can come across as aggressive. If you’re giving negative criticism without any praise, it feels like you’re scolding them, even though that’s not what you’re doing. Recognition helps tone it down. It signals that you’re not angry. You just want to point out problems that need to be fixed. This is really important in Philippine culture.

4. Re-usable. This is another reason why I use Snagit often. When you save and organize your video feedback, you can add it to your OFS training. This saves you time when you hire a new VA.

Speaking of training…what about just giving your OFS my training?