Giving feedback is nearly as important as receiving it. It might feel unnerving to share a shortcoming with someone, as you don’t want to hurt their feelings. However, if you consider that growth and development are at the root of the feedback you’re offering, you’ll be better able to share constructive criticism with kind and professional assertiveness.
Here are some tips for offering feedback:
- Establish a climate of trust where feedback is welcome.
- Choose your words wisely. Feedback should be given in the spirit of caring and concern.
- Feedback (positive and negative) is most useful if given as soon after an event or behaviour as is practical.
- Choose the time and place wisely. Feedback should be offered in a private setting, without interruption. Avoid giving feedback during stressful times, when either party is rushed or may be interrupted, or when either party is angry. In many situations, you might want to say, “I have some feedback for you. Is this a good time to talk?”
- Be as specific as possible and provide concrete examples.
- Decide how many things to provide feedback on. Avoid overloading the person with feedback by selecting the highest priority issues to start with.
- When possible, offer positive feedback along with constructive criticism.
- Follow up on the situation. Sit down and have a chat about how the other party has received or has been applying the feedback you’ve offered. Be open and provide ongoing support.