Five Tips to Provide Feedback in the Office

Feedback is essential to your business success. Yet providing the feedback in the right way can sometimes be challenging. Feedback in the wrong form can lead to attitudes of non-reception, resentment and even ill-will. The key to good feedback is giving it in a way that that receiving person will use it productively, rather than take offense and be demoralized.

Be Positive

Open your creative feedback with a positive. It shows respect for the person's work and helps set a good tone for whatever follows. If you're excited about the creative you saw, let that show through. If not, find something you like about it and use that.

Be Sincere and Avoid Giving Mixed Messages

Sincerity is the direct and respectful way to communicate, without ambiguity. When you compliment somebody in the workplace then follow with ambiguous phrases such as “but, however, or although”, or nullifying the first compliment and creating a mixed message. “In essence, putting "but" in the middle tells the other person, ‘Don't believe a thing I said before,’ says Dummies.com guide to constructive feedback.

For Positive Feedback Express Appreciation – Negative Express Concern

Appreciation is praise, but when you add it to the specifics of constructive feedback, you double the praise. For negative feedback, a tone of concern helps to communicate a sense of importance and care. Tones of frustration, anger, disappointment and sarcasm often turn feedback into criticism.

Start and End with a Compliment

This “Good Bad Good” tactic is well used in management circles, mainly because criticism can be hard to take and can lead to demoralizing attitudes. Finding something good to say about somebody before leading in with the criticism, then following up with an additional compliment, can help the person take the criticism and not feel like a failure, says Dr. Barton Goldsmith.

Separate the Behavior from the Person

Feedback is not meant to be personally about a person’s behavior, it’s about advising them how to improve. Be sure to make clear that it’s about specific behavior so the person receiving  the feedback does not take it personally.

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