Tip 1: Focus on how to change
When framing your feedback, focus on the change that needs to occur without resorting to accusations. By including the benefits that bring with that change, you allow that individual to understand what they can achieve more effectively.
Another important part of the feedback is to show them how to improve and give suggestions. It may be worth creating an action plan and arranging follow-up meetings in the future to check on the progress. In this way, you’re offering support to the person in areas they’re not performing in and focusing on reaching a positive outcome together.
Tip 2: Talk about the situation, not the individual
Getting feedback is never easy. It’s essential to eliminate the chances of miscommunication. One of the methods to tackle this is using “I” language. Instead of saying “you always” or “you never”, use words like “I’ve noticed” or “I’m concerned about”. In this way, you can make sure that the person getting the feedback understands it’s about the situation or a behavior, not them as a person.
For example, when you’re giving constructive feedback on an idea, try saying, “I think it’s a great idea, however I feel the plan could use a little more details; which give better clarity to our users about the product.” In this way, you’re focusing on how the situation can be improved without disrespecting others.
Tip 3: Make it a conversation
Giving constructive feedback should be two-way communication. Once you’ve given your share of observations and suggestions, offer the person a chance to speak and listen to what they might be feeling. This shows that you’re prepared to listen to their concerns and their points of view. It’s also an opportunity for them to express their ideas and become part of the solution.
Giving constructive feedback should not be a conversation to resent someone, but to build a communicative relationship that is fostered by trust and respect. No matter if you're giving the feedback or getting the feedback, be sincere and positive. Always try to avoid displaying negative emotions such as anger or disappointment. Remember: the aim of giving constructive feedback is to make positive improvements.
It’s never easy to give feedback or receive feedback. Keep in mind that constructive feedback is to inspire people to achieve their potential. We all have areas we need to improve. Use feedback as seeds for growth so we can blossom a better version of ourselves.
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