Negative feedback is something we try to avoid. Whether giving corrective
feedback to an employee or receiving criticism from a coworker, it causes stress and anxiety. The ironic part is that despite it being a strain, it can help the individual perform better moving forward. Here are some tips that will help you give tough but productive feedback:
Don’t hesitate! If you need to address something, initiate the conversation at the first opportunity. Remember, you aren’t here to prove anyone wrong; you’re here to help someone grow.
Keep it short and to the point. If the conversation drags on, or you beat
around the bush, the message might end up being diluted or misunderstood.
Share your concerns behaviorally. When explaining the incident, deliberately use the word “notice” when describing their actions (“I noticed that you…”) to focus on concrete evidence. You can notice behaviors not attitudes.
Allow questions and feedback. Ask what happened or what’s going on. The
people involved need a chance to talk. By doing so, this helps clarify whether the situation was a one-time thing or something that is ongoing and needs more attention.
Build their confidence. Let the person involved know your expectations and
then collaborate on a solution that solves the problem. Ask them how they will handle similar situations in the future. This way you can see if your message was clear and they understood it.
Conclude. End with a positive message. Let them know that you appreciate their time and that you’re sure they can handle the situation in an appropriate manner in the future.