Constructive Criticism: 3 Simple Ways to Give Effective Negative Feedback

Let’s skip the “praise sandwich” and learn how to give candid constructive feedback.

In my previous article, The Power of Positive Reinforcement, I emphasized the importance of recognizing and reinforcing positive behaviors. There comes a time though when delivering negative feedback is inevitable. Most managers in my experience find it very difficult to give negative performance feedback, but if you show that you are motivated by the desire to help and not to punish, it doesn’t have to be an unpleasant task.  Here are three ways that I preface constructive criticism or negative feedback to encourage my employees and keep them motivated:

Let them know that they are valuable enough to invest time and resources into them:

 “I appreciate all you’ve done for us. The company is very supportive of your efforts and committed to putting resources behind your growth and development. There are a few areas where I think we can make some improvements to make an even bigger impact on the organization. “

Let them know that you are supportive of their development and success:

“You’ve shown a lot of commitment to this organization and drive to improve yourself. I know you have ambitions and want to improve so please realize that as your manager, I’ve got to be hard on you. “

Let them know that they contribute to the success of the organization:

“You’ve really made a difference here. I’m glad you joined the team and I’m happy to see the progress you’ve made.  If you put in more time in these areas I know you can add even more value to the organization. “

Remember, the goal of any feedback, positive or negative, is to improve the behavior of the other person to bring out the best in your entire company. Learning how to deliver negative feedback will produce positive results and strengthen the relationships with your employees.

So, how do you give negative feedback? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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