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Why the "velvet hammer" is a better way to give constructive criticism

https://www.fastcompany.com/90319581/why-the-velvet-hammer-is-a-better-way-to-give-constructive-criticism

fastcompany.com

Why the "velvet hammer" is a better way to give constructive criticism
It's time to bag the sandwich method of delivering bad news. You know, the technique where you say something nice, then drop in the criticism, and the end with something nice. It's not like the person won't notice that the center of the sandwich is terrible; the method is really designed to make it easier on the giver.

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Th velvet hammer feedback formula

Th velvet hammer feedback formula

A feedback method focused on providing nonthreatening and open-minded feedback.

The formula goes: “Got a minute? Great. I need your help. I noticed that [problem behavior goes here.] (Pause) I was wondering what’s causing this problem (pause), because it cannot continue. What do you suggest we do?”

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3. Be Specific With Your Feedback

The more specific your feedback, the more actionable it is for the one receiving it. Example: Asking for an article on communication is vague while asking for one on public speaking is speci...

4. Comment On Actionable Things

To help people improve talk about things they can do something about, rather than those out of their control. Critiquing the former makes your criticism constructive; critiquing the latter makes the person feel bad as they can’t do anything about it, even if they want to.

Understand the person’s situation and his/her objectives, then provide your critique based on that. And if you need to talk about something out of their control, balance it out by talking about things they can control.

5. Give Improvement Recommendations

Give recommendations on what the person can do to improve so they have a clear idea of what you have in mind and get a strong call-to-action.

With your recommendations, (a) be specific with your suggestions and (b) briefly explain the rationale behind the recommendation. Also, try to limit examples to one per point to make your case more impactful.

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Use The "Sandwich" Approach And Be Specific On The Expected Results

"Sandwiching" your critique between two positive things about the person's softens the blow, and avoids it coming off like an attack. The mix of positive and negative makes people more likel...

Give Feedback, Not Instruction

Keep your criticism to your observations, and the impact they have. Don't try to fix the problem, just identify it.

Offer to help fix the problem, and to support the solution that the other person comes up with. Unless you know how to do the work your coworker is doing, don't try to solve it for them—they'll ignore your feedback and you.

Give Kind Criticism, And Remember The Point Of It

The point of your criticism is to help someone improve, or to correct a problem, and your feedbacks should carry that message. If you’re doing anything but that, reevaluate whether you actually have legitimate criticism to give, or you just need to talk to someone.

Offer positive and specific suggestions to alleviate the issue at hand, or identify the problem clearly without talking about the person, just the issue.

Negativity bias and feedback

Receiving criticism will always have a greater impact than receiving praise.

And we remember criticism strongly but inaccurately. But although criticism is more lik...

Criteria for effective feedback

  • The feedback provider is credible in the eyes of the feedback recipient;
  • The feedback provider is trusted by the feedback recipient;
  • The feedback is conveyed with good intentions;
  • The timing and circumstances of giving the feedback are appropriate;
  • The feedback is given in an interactive manner;
  • The feedback message is clear;
  • The feedback is helpful to recipient.