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5 Ways to Give (And Receive) Negative Feedback | Planio

Why are people scared of Feedback

Normally people react with caution and fear towards negative feedback, but it is much better than no feedback at all.

Informing the colleague/subordinate/client/customer or individual about something that is not working, is always beneficial, and builds transparency and trust.

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5 Ways to Give (And Receive) Negative Feedback | Planio

5 Ways to Give (And Receive) Negative Feedback | Planio

https://plan.io/blog/negative-feedback/

plan.io

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Key Ideas

Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is a more important component of the feedback cycle than positive feedback. 92% of people say in a study that negative feedback improves workplace performance.

To do it right:

  • Check how it will impact the individual
  • Make it guidance or advice
  • Be direct
  • Let it be an area of improvement information
  • Build a culture of trust.

Why are people scared of Feedback

Normally people react with caution and fear towards negative feedback, but it is much better than no feedback at all.

Informing the colleague/subordinate/client/customer or individual about something that is not working, is always beneficial, and builds transparency and trust.

Check how it impacts the person

The fundamental goal of giving feedback is to help the person you’re giving it to. They should realize that you are not trying to make them feel bad, and this is an exercise to help make them better.

How it impacts each individual is going to be different so a tailor-made approach is required. 

Reframe it as Advice or Guidance

If the word Feedback sounds loaded and negative by default, we can reframe it by calling it a less critical name like guidance or advice.

Be Direct

Remove superficial compliments (like the Sandwich Method) and instead be genuine, direct and to the point.

Focus on the areas of improvement

Be informative and keep the focus on the areas of improvement.

This is done by being specific, work-oriented only, and providing feedback on time, when it is relevant.

Explain how it relates to company objectives, making sure it is documented, with the action plan in place.

Build a culture of Trust

Negative feedback is effective when it is coming from a trustworthy person.

If the person receiving the feedback is not validated first, he or she may feel threatened and stressed after a feedback session.

Receiving Negative Feedback

  • Do not react right away or in a defensive way.
  • Do not take it personally.
  • Do not justify the feedback, or ignore it.
  • Don't wait to be offered feedback at the last stage.
  • Take your time to gather your thoughts and do not be overly negative to yourself.
  • Do ask for clarification, if required.
  • Do set and align your expectations.

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It’s Not Personal

Unless it is completely uncalled for, negative feedback generally has the intention of informing us about our areas of improvement. If feedback isn’t provided, you may not grow and improve. If no one tells you that you are doing something wrong, you will keep doing it wrongly forever.

Providing timely feedback may be a sign that the manager cares and wants you to improve.

Don’t Shoot The Messenger

One should not be defensive when provided with negative feedback, and understand that it is for our own good.

One needs to act on the feedback by approaching it from a neutral and objective standpoint, not taking it as a personal attack. Instead of reacting, just pause and listen. Reflect on the feedback, giving yourself some time and space to respond with a level head.

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“People seldom refuse help, if one offers it in the right way.”

A. C. Benson.

On Giving Constructive Criticism

Sharing and receiving feedback is necessary for improvement. If you have ideas on how someone can improve, don’t hold your ideas back, share your criticism constructively.

Of course, be sensitive to others’ feelings and offer feedback when you feel the other person is ready to take it. Else, you may come across as imposing your views on others, especially if you repeatedly tell them what to do without them requesting it.

1. Use The Feedback Sandwich

Also known as PIP (Positive-Improvement-Positive), it consists of “sandwiching” a critic between two positive comments in the following manner:

  1. Start by focusing on the strengths — what you like about the item in question.
  2. Then, provide the criticism — things you don’t like and areas of improvement.
  3. Lastly, round off the feedback with (a) a reiteration of the positive comments you began with and (b) the positive results that can be expected if the criticism is acted upon.

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