5 Ways to Give (And Receive) Negative Feedback | Planio
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.
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To do it right:
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.
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.
Remove superficial compliments (like the Sandwich Method) and instead be genuine, direct and to the point.
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.
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.
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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.
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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Imagine an art director giving feedback to an animator on some sketches for Pixar’s next blockbuster movie and instead of saying something like “but the characters expression is all wrong,” they’ll frame it using more encouraging and creative words like and or what if: “what if we could make their expression more (enthusiastic, brazen, etc).”