SELF HELP RESOURCE - Work / Workplace Relationships


Giving Positive feedback

Feedback need not be only negative. Giving positive feedback is relatively easy, but often neglected. It is important to convey appreciation when someone has done something well. Be generous with your praise, but be genuine and specific. Rather than say ‘You're terrific' you could say ‘That report was clear, concise and well presented' or ‘I really appreciated the way you went out of your way to meet that client's needs yesterday'. Positive feedback motivates the person to repeat the behavior, and if frequently given, makes it easier for negative feedback to be accepted.

Giving Negative Feedback

Obviously this is much more difficult, but keeping the following principles in mind will help:

Keep it private. "Give praise in public, criticize in private" is a good maxim to follow. When you have to convey something negative, make sure that you pick a place where others cannot overhear the conversation.

Be timely. Try to convey the feedback as soon as possible, delay reduces the impact and also gives the opportunity for the mistake / problem to be repeated.

Prepare. Don't give negative feedback on the spur of the moment. Think through (and if necessary even write down) what you plan to say, to make sure that it is coherent, makes sense and conveys exactly what you mean. If the situation is very critical it may even help to actually rehearse with someone whom you can take into confidence. It is not only your words but also your expression and body language that make a difference.

Avoid email. Unless the feedback is about a very minor issue, do avoid conveying it through email. Try to speak to the person face-to-face or if that is not possible, at least on the telephone.

Explain your reasons. Help the person understand the reason why his or her behavior needs to change. ‘When you did not complete the client's work according to schedule, he was not only angry but also had doubts about our competence' or ‘Your team members say that they find you unapproachable. As a result they hesitate to come to you when they face a problem and this ultimately affects productivity.'

Allow for a response. The person who receives the feedback needs time to absorb it and to express his or her point of view. You could ask how he/she feels about it, or even give some time and tell the person that he or she could get back after a day or two to talk about it further. Be prepared to clarify and make sure that your points were correctly understood.

Acknowledge the fact that you have made mistakes too. No one is perfect. It helps if you can let the person know that you've been there too - you have made your share of mistakes too and can understand how he/she feels. This makes it a lot easier for him/her to accept the criticism and move forward.

Giving negative feedback is never easy, but if you do it the right way, you won't have to dread it either. Using these principles will help you give the feedback in a way that ensures it will be heard and acted upon.



Latest Comments

snp on 10 Jan 2018, 11:09 AM

thank you very much for the help ,