Whether you’re a manager or a creative, everyone has to critique about how they feel about someone else’s work. Giving feedback on the surface sounds pretty easy. But when you’re asked immediantly, the thought of how you go about it can be difficult.
To be able to give feedback is a necessity skill to have so that’s important to know how.
Know the differences of negative & positive feedback
It’s natural to want to but positive spin on feedback. Positives words are more alluring to negative ones. Even when that’s not possible there’s always a way to sugar coat the words. Or even put the negativity in between 2 positive sections.
It’s doesn’t have to be black and white. Actually positive feedback isn’t always good and neither is negative feeback always hurtful.
Most experts are actually wanting to hear how they can improve even if the feedback ‘hurts’ so to speak. It’s actually the beginners that seek more into the praise in feedback.
As the authors of How Positive and Negative Feedback Motivate Goal Pursuit explains:
“When anticipating a problem in a timely meeting of a deadline at work, the novice will likely seek positive feedback that affirms her perception that she can meet the deadline, whereas the expert will likely seek negative feedback that will help him stay on track and overcome further distractions.”
More studies have found out that too much praise doesn’t give any extra improvements. A group of students in a study were constantly being praised over the course of a month and never really improved because there was no need to have progress.
So there needs to be a perfect balance in positive and negtive feedback. Negative feedback needs to be clear and timely but not personal. Positive feedback needs to be uplifting but not overshadow the negatives.
Here’s 6 things you can do to give better feedback:
- Be Specific
All feedback is better when it’s more specific. For an example saying that you would like a person to be more vocal in a team meeting might sound like good feedback but it’s actually vague. By having something quanitifiable will allow people to know how to improve.
So saying that you want a weekly update on the potential improvements in a meeting is more exact and thus easier to improve. There’s no misunderstandings so the feedback comes a lot more clearer.
- Be Immediate
Feedback must be timely especially with all the details in a fresh mind. If you wait until a later time it can be more difficult for a that person to understand what actually were the problems.
When living in age with constant notifications, it can be tough to get the correct attention.
What we need to is to schedule a time to give feedback. Even if it’s just 5 minutes. It’s important to have a reminder and set time for it.
- Tie Feedback to Goals
Every dream needs a goal or it’ll just stay as a dream. Feedback is no different. You need to have a goal.
When you give feedback without a goal then whatever youre trying to accomplish won’t probably happen.
Saying ‘Stop trying to make your work perfect.’ Doesn’t help the person what they should do. Instead we should this needs to be out by next week and we can refine it after we get initial feedback.
Feedback must be clear have a reason as to why you have given this feedback.
- Ensure Feedback Is Actionable
Just like goals, you need them to actionable in order to connect them together stronger. At the time of writing this I’m also writing a book. The problem is I tend to change past and present tense to often and gets confusing to read. A friend after reading some of it has really helped me by stating:
“The biggest problem I see is that amount of present and past tense verbs used throughout your chapters. Don’t be afraid to stick to one concept and just expand on it rather than jumping from one concept to another.”
The key take away from that was to say A causes B rather than A sometimes causes B to happen. It’s more clearly defined and confident sounding.
So saying there’s a lack of cohesion in your tenses throughout your chapter wouldn’t have been very helpful. So now by thinking what exactly happens can improved how it reads.
- Use the Right Language
Language is the leading precursor to get the right behavior. Words can build or break someone down. You can give encouragement to boost them to a new height or bring someone down into negativity.
There’s a technique called plussing that is presented in Pixar movies.
Plussing is giving feedback without having to deal with negative feelings. When the director goes over the character models of the next movie, He doesn’t say: ‘It’s all wrong!” he says it in more encouraging words: ‘What if’. Plussing is essentially to give other ideas without trying to say it’s wrong. It’s more is there a better?
- Don’t Avoid It
When things get too tough it’s feels easier to quit. But like the The Don’t Quit Podcast title is if you don’t try then you won’t get anywhere.
As best-selling Author Nora Roberts, said:
“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer’s always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”
Giving any and receiving bad news can cause conflict. A lot of either know it’s important and healthy to have it while others avoided as much as possible.
There’s a level of irony in all feedback because you need to become better than just hearing what you want to hear. Or even saying what they want to hear.
Look into your past and think about any feedback that helped you out. A professor helping you to study better. A parent teaching you a life skill. A friend showing you a new hobby. If you want to get anywhere in life you need to progress and improve.
Hopefully these six tips helps give the better feedback that other people would love to hear. It’s not scary and it’s not mean, it’s love in words that take time but it’s worth it.