How To Give Constructive Feedback

How To Give Constructive Feedback

Good feedback is a necessary tool in business that promotes improvement and personal growth.

When you are handling a team of your own, it is important that you check on each individual’s progress in their work. Doing so allows you to see each member’s contribution to your business, and make them feel that you care for their personal growth as well.

But what if in the course of your review and assessment, you find that their performance is not up to the expectations that you had set? How can you help them improve for their own sake, as well as the business’?

The best course of action you could take is implementing a system that allows you to provide constructive feedback when necessary. However, some people may not be that receptive to criticisms, even if they’re meant to make them learn and do better. It can become a tricky process to navigate so no one will harbor any negative feelings.

Fortunately, there are ways to approach your workers and talk about their shortcomings with respect and encouragement. Remember, providing feedback is more about how you say it. Relaying it in an effective manner, with a caring and inclusive tone, will ensure that it will be received well.

Talk face-to-face

Despite having phones and emails at our disposal, it’s best to avoid using them when giving feedback to your worker. Sometimes, the intention and emotion behind the feedback won’t come across nicely when told over the phone or read through an email.

So when possible, set a meeting so you can talk one-on-one and you can send an email after for documentation purposes. If you’re dealing with an online worker, then the most you can do is a video call. Doing so will give the impression that you care enough to carve out time to talk to them personally, and that the situation must be taken seriously too.

Focus on the problem

Only discuss work-related issues during these feedback sessions. Addressing the problem in a targeted manner can help really drill down what areas need to be worked on. Doing so leaves no room for any misunderstandings that can arise. Be straightforward, yet calm and collected.

Use passive voice

The passive voice has been receiving flak, but using this with feedback will make the comments easier to accept. Say, “The proposal you gave is lacking” instead of “Your proposal is lacking”. In this way, you’re pointing out that the problem is with the output that they gave, and not with them.

Show how you’re affected too

Sometimes, putting things into perspective can give your employees the extra push they need to do better at work. Give them the bigger picture and how the lack in their performance can deeply affect the business overall.

The Feedback Sandwich Method

One of the most popular and effective strategies used in the corporate world is the Feedback Sandwich Method.

There are three parts to this ‘sandwich’. The Introduction starts off with positive comments about the work. After that comes the Critique, which focuses on the shortcomings, and areas for improvement. Then you end with the Round-off, which is an overall assessment of the situation that’s given with a positive and encouraging note.

This structure allows you to present the problem as a fixable challenge, making it easier for someone to receive it well. It also doesn’t leave a heavy impact on your worker, as often corrective feedback does when given solely as it is.

It also eases the weight off your shoulders as it’s generally hard to relay criticisms in a positive manner.

In any line of business, if you want to see growth and significant changes happen, you have to create a system where feedback must be expected to be given or received. Any feedback or comments, when relayed in a way that is encouraging and not destructive, will lead to more favorable outcomes for both the employee involved and your company.

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