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Constructive feedback

Offer feedback on observed behavior, not on perceived attitudes.

· team,communication

Constructive feedback helps team members to be good in their job: an aspect of intrinsic motivation.

Feedback is a way to let people know how effective they are in their job and help them learn how they affect the world around them.

Feedback can be about positive and negative behavior. Find below a shortlist of ways to give constructive feedback.

  • Before starting, consider the potential value of the feedback to the receiver. If there isn’t any then it may be best to reconsider giving it.
  • Choose the aspects which are most important to you and your team, and limit yourself to these. Too much feedback can overload people.
  • Comment on things that an individual did well, as well as areas where they might improve.
  • Control your emotions.
  • Offer feedback on observed (positive or negative) behavior, not on perceived attitudes. So, focus on behavior that is under the control of a person, everyone has limits.
  • Offer descriptions of what you saw and how you felt, rather than judgments. Stated differently, be descriptive (“I hear you raise your voice”) rather than evaluative (“You are annoying when you yell”)
  • Keep the message simple, clear and specific - give concrete examples and be immediate.
  • The receiver must be empowered by the process (feelings of inadequacy or incompetence can lead to humiliation)
  • Allow the receiver to reach his/her own conclusions about your feedback. Give some time.