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How to Give Constructive Feedback

Apr 28, 2016, 08:58 AM by Kathleen Kontos

Being able to give feedback is an effective part of a supervisor’s role that helps improve the team’s productivity. It’s easy to offer up praise and compliments, but most people shut down when they hear negative feedback. It is common for people hear feedback and feel a negative connotation from past experiences. Here are a few ways that you can work to keep constructive feedback from being stressful and instead create a relationship building experience.

Create a Comfortable Environment

When you are first approaching employees about meeting to discuss something, don’t gang up on them or before the meeting starts they will shut down. Give feedback face-to-face and in a private location so your employees don’t feel they are being scrutinized by their coworkers.

Balance of Positive & Negative

Too much negativity can set an employee on the defense and decrease productivity. However, too much positive feedback can diminish the value of the critique you are giving and can no longer be a motivator for employees to do better. Make sure you balance the two by trying to have a positive for every negative.

Be Specific & Clear

Avoid the words “usually” and “always.” Having specific incidents for people to respond to can prevent overgeneralization of employee’s performance. Citing certain events allows you stay on task and for the employee to understand the direction of this feedback.

Be Immediate

Being able to discuss an incident immediately helps both parties because it keeps the incident fresh in their minds. It also gives a chance to recognize there was an issue and resolve it before it continues to happen.

State Observations

State specific incidents you have seen and do not rely on third party accounts. Stating first person accounts lets your employee know you are making calls based on facts you know and not things you have heard from others.

Offer Specific Suggestions

Offering practical advice shows how you are looking back on past feedback and working to improve the performance of the individual. Even if the feedback was positive you can offer ways to help them to perform better and motivates them to constantly evolve in their role.

Summarize and Express Support

Do a brief recap of what was just discussed. Summarize the advice and be sure to end on a positive note to show your willingness to help the employee improve.

Be Genuine

Make sure to show your employees that you truly care about their growth. Fake niceties will cause people to tune out whatever you are saying. Make sure to listen and respond when the employees are given a chance to discuss the feedback you have just given them. Let them know you are willing to work with them to help them grow.

Offering constructive feedback can be a rough part of a supervisor’s role. Using these techniques will help build better relationships among managers and employees. What skills do you use when giving constructive feedback?

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