WholeLife Matrix: Relationships / Staff & Colleagues

“Every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration. Constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought.”

— Margaret Chase Smith

We all love to receive praise because it makes us feel like we are great at what we do. But receiving constructive feedback is equally important.  Through constructive feedback, areas that need improvement are brought to our attention that we may otherwise overlook.  It also gives us new ideas for how we might do things better or differently.  But the way that constructive feedback is given can be just as important as the feedback itself.  Here are some tips for how to give this type of feedback in a positive and effective manner that will empower others.

Give Feedback on a Regular Basis
Don’t wait for performance reviews to give constructive feedback.  Give feedback regularly, as needed.  Take notes of things that you observe that can be improved and address them when appropriate.  It is best to give constructive feedback face-to-face.

Focus on the Issue
Concentrate on improving an action or behavior.  Do not attack the person or place blame.  Instead, offer useful ways to improve.  Be careful with how you use your words because this can make a big difference in how your suggestions are received.  For example, instead of saying “You don’t make enough sales”, you might say “Your sales numbers will improve when you make more calls.”

Do Not Compare People
People are different and different things work for them, so avoid comparing people in both family and work environments and avoid setting anyone as a model to follow.

Have Realistic Expectations
Prioritize the things that need attention and discuss them. Use specific examples and events. Set realistic goals, action items, and time frames for things that need to be improved.

Offer Guidance and Coaching
People want constructive feedback to grow professionally and as a person. Offering coaching or mentorship can enhance and speed that growth.

Establish a Company Culture that Accepts Constructive Criticism
Let employees know that constructive feedback is given regularly to everyone and that it is okay to make mistakes because that is a part of growing.  Your conversations should be friendly and positive. Having an open door policy where people feel free to express their thoughts allows them to better express what they think about performance and makes them more receptive to constructive feedback. 

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Ralph White
Business Coach, Author, Artist & CEO
310.372.8538 | Ralph@Consulting2Win.com
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