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6 Tips for Giving Feedback

Here are some useful tips to try when giving feedback:

1. Be clear about what you want to say before you say it

  • You might have already sensed what feedback you want to convey. However, you should be clear to yourself about what you want to convey and how you want to convey it

2. Share your feedback in a concise and specific manner, then you can embellish

  • People often lose specificity when they speak because they say far too much, rather than not enough. Or, they speak about general themes and patterns. 
  • When giving feedback, first share what you saw or heard, what you want instead, and how the person can achieve it. 
  • Then you can add more descriptive information if necessary.

3. Avoid generalisations

  • Avoid the use of the words “all,” “never” and “always.” Those words can seem extreme, lack credibility and place arbitrary limits on behaviour. 
  • Be more precise about quantity or proportion, if you address terms of quantities, at all.

4. Be descriptive rather than evaluative

  • Report what you are seeing, hearing or feeling. 
  • Attempt to avoid evaluative words, such as “good” or “bad.” 
  • It may be helpful to quickly share your particular feeling, if appropriate, but do not dwell on it or become emotional.

5. Own the feedback

  • The information should be about your own perception of information, not about the other’s perceptions, assumptions and motives. 
  • Use ‘I’ statements as much as possible to indicate that your impressions are your own. 

6. Be careful about giving advice

  • When giving feedback, it is often best to do one thing at a time - share your feedback, get the person’s response to your feedback, and then, when he/she is more ready to consider additional information, share your advice with him/her.

Important Note. Although these tips are useful when you are planning on giving feedback, you should also remember your feedback techniques should be specific for each individual. Tailor the level of criticism/recognition based on how you think your employee will react to each of them.