Giving Constructive Feedback

Part of becoming a manager and conducting  a colleague’s  annual review is being able to give good constructive feedback. Personally, I am very laid back and  always avoid any sort of confrontation so providing any sort of  criticism to a colleague is extremely awkward for me. It’s important to remember that there are ways to deliver your message without seeming too harsh or in attack mode (social  skills 101).  

Below are a few tips I refer to when I’m assessing how to give constructive feedback.

  • Be specific. Don’t beat around the bush.  Give detailed examples  so that the recipient understands what he/she needs to improve on and explain  how it’s effecting the team.
  • Be aware of tone. Make sure you’re sending the appropriate message in a tone of voice that you would appreciate if you were in the other person’s shoes.
  • Be helpful. Provide counsel on how your colleague can improve his/her performance.
  • Be timely. Sometimes waiting until the annual review to give feedback isn’t always the best option. If other colleagues are having issues with a person’s performance, address it as soon as possible so that it can be fixed.
  • Be positive. Try putting a positive spin on negative feedback. Also include what teammates appreciate out of your colleague and put the negative’s into perspective.

Have you had to give feedback to a colleague? What was your experience like?


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