How to Give Constructive Criticism at Work – The Muse

How to give constructive criticism at work (1)

Give feedback without hurting anyone’s feelings

Tracy finished facilitating her first meeting and she knew it wasn’t perfect. Yet, she felt great because she had at least taken the first step. But her boss walked up to her while the other team members were still around and told her, “The meeting did not go well”. She was flummoxed by his comment and attributed it to her inexperience. And if you have been the recipient of such vague feedback at work, you know how that feels.

Giving and receiving feedback is a sensitive form of communication. It is very easy to hurt and demoralise or hold resentments even though they may not be called for. I want to share an article with you that gives you specific guidelines on giving feedback without hurting anyone’s feelings. And I think this is a key skill for the work place.

The important points to remember are – although I highly recommend that you read the whole article:

1. Be clear about the intention of giving a feedback. Is it to praise someone or evaluate their performance. Or to tell them what they are doing wrong.

2. Be specific. Saying that someone’s doing a good or a bad job isn’t enough. It is important to specifically reinforce the desirable and undesirable actions of the person you are giving feedback to.

3. Explain the impact of the feedback on the person and the organisation. Good or bad feedback isn’t really a personal thing. So put it into the work context and explain how the change in behaviour is good for the employee and its impact on the organisation.

4. Finally, specify the action steps that need to be taken. Tracy might have gone overboard with time or overlooked some important aspects of the agenda. Clearly stating what went wrong and suggest how to correct it in the future will truly make the feedback useful and action oriented.

Here is the full article:

We promise: This is the best way to do it if you want to avoid awkward silences and stares.

Source: How to Give Constructive Criticism at Work – The Muse

Which of the steps discussed in the article do people usually skip during the feedback process? Being specific? Being considerate? Or explaining relevance to the organisation?

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