I just wanted to share this with our readers who are in management.
Everyone needs feedback to grow. But if you deliver it in a way that feels like an attack, your employees will probably get defensive and shut down. Here’s how to give negative feedback more productively:
- Start the conversation by noting when and where the behavior you want to discuss occurred. Next, describe it in detail, explaining exactly what you saw and heard. For example: “In our staff meeting this morning, when we were discussing strategies, you interrupted Jessica while she was talking and said, ‘That idea will never work.’”
- Describe your reaction to the behavior. You might say: “Your interruption disappointed me because I didn’t get to hear more from Jessica, and it also made me not want to share my own ideas.”
When done well, this fact-based approach is not judgmental and doesn’t try to analyze the person’s motives. As a result, the employee is less likely to get defensive, which means they’re more likely to thoughtfully consider what you’re saying.
Adapted from “What Good Feedback Really Looks Like,” by Craig Chappelow and Cindy McCauley