Tips for Giving Constructive Feedback

Giving and receiving feedback is important. It constitutes a learning process for both parties involved. It is thanks to feedback that we human beings can improve our skills and ourselves.

I considered myself not so good at giving or receiving feedback. And I avoided both processes whenever I could. Once, for work, I was asked to provide feedback to a colleague of mine. My colleague and I did not have hierarchical differences, and that made the whole feedback giving situation more awkward for me. But I realized that if I wanted to grow, I had to learn how to give feedback the right way.

As I do in most cases, first, I researched the topic. I’ve mentioned in my earlier articles that I am a member of LinkedIn Learning. And on that platform, I managed to find a lot of useful courses that helped me.

Below are some steps you can use when you deliver feedback. I used the below steps when I was giving feedback to my colleague.

1.Ask the other person if it’s OK to share your feedback, and emphasize that feedback is part of learning

Whether the person in front of you is your colleague or a family member, ask them to see if they are ready to receive feedback about the situation at hand. Timing is important.

When I was asked to give feedback to my colleague, I first reached out to him via chat (because we were working remotely). I told him I’d been evaluating his work and asked him if he would be willing to accept my feedback about it. And he kindly said yes! đŸ™‚

If you have a difficult person in front of you, try empowering them by asking, ” Can I ask you advice on how I can best communicate my feedback with you?” (I need to give credit to James Altucher for this method) đŸ™‚

2.Start with the positive

Every human on this earth is walking a different path and facing different challenges every day. We should all be praising each other by acknowledging that we are doing a great job. The same goes true for when you are giving feedback too. Start by thanking the person in front of you for all the effort he/she put into whatever he/she’s been doing so far.

3.Share your observations

Always use phrases like “I’ve observed that….” or “I’ve noticed that….” Using such kind of phrases is important because such phrases are not accusatory. Telling the person in front of you, “You did this….”, on the other hand, is accusatory and will definitely trigger a defense reaction in the person.

4.Admit that your observations/feedback are incomplete

Don’t make the mistake of pretending to act like you know everything. We all interpret the events through our perspectives and according to our beliefs. You can use phrases like “I know what happened is not the full story…” or “Here is what I think happened, is there anything that you’d like to add?” and empower the person in front of you to contribute to the learning process.

Giving and receiving feedback is not only important for leaders in the professional world. It is also very important in our daily interactions with people. Let’s say you are not happy with how your spouse washes the dishes in the kitchen. How you let your spouse know what you are feeling is important. Remember, all our conflicts arise from misunderstandings. Any type of communication needs to come from a kind place. And feedback is no exception.

Dear Reader, did you find this article useful? If yes, I’d really appreciate it if you could share the link with your network. Thank you:)

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