Introduction:Feedback may be a gift, but it doesn't always come with a big red bow. Giving constructive or corrective feedback can be a challenge, and it can be rewarding.
Although feedback provides information on something that happened in the past, there is no reason to give feedback unless it will help with future performance. You should be ready to help collaborate to make the change you recommend possible, not giving feedback out judgment.
You'll want to deliver the feedback as soon as possible after the occurrence you want to correct. But, wait until you've had time to collect your thoughts, plan what to say, and consider how to respond to the feedback recipient's reaction.
Begin the feedback conversation by asking the other person what s/he thinks about the topic under discussion. Letting him or her talk first reduces defensiveness and creates a climate of collaboration and trust. What's more, you may find out something you didn't know.
Tuck the corrective feedback between positive feedback and a positive plan for the future. There's always something positive to say, even if it's just recognizing good intentions. In order to avoid sounding like it's just a matter of time until the other boot drops, make sure your positive feedback is genuinely delivered and contains specific detail about what was good and why. Avoid using the word "but" by replacing it with "and." Then suggest how a change will make things even better. For example, instead of "your charts looked good but the type was too small," try "your charts clearly depicted our impressive earnings information and if we make the typeface bigger next time, everyone will be able to better appreciate the exact numbers behind our rising sales."
Depending on the nature of your feedback discussion, you may want to ask the other person to give you some feedback on how the feedback went for them. If that's not appropriate, this time, look for an opportunity to ask for feedback in the future. By demonstrating your interest in feedback, you establish a climate of trust and collaboration, as well as gaining insight you can use to improve your own performance.
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