Constructive (or negative) feedback often leads to discomfort, both in the person who offers it and in the person who receives it. Since it can have an important impact on the employee's career, as well as on a personal level, this kind of feedback can be emotionally charged.
It’s important to give constructive feedback in an appropriate manner in order to make a positive impact.
Use tact when giving constructive feedback
Constructive feedback is necessary to change undesired behaviours. However, in these situations, it’s important to be tactful and keep the following recommendations in mind:
- Address the issue from a perspective of improvement and development, without focusing on past misconduct
- Provide feedback as soon as possible after the negative incident occurs
- Confirm that the employee understands
- Discuss the issue in a private location
- Focus on facts and behaviours
If you want your feedback to be received well, express it in a descriptive way, based on observable behaviours and facts, while specifying the context and the consequences of the behaviour.
Finally, the feedback provided must be perceived as fair by the employee. To achieve this, treat employees with respect and allow them to express themselves. Also make sure the feedback is given by the right person based on the situation.