Join Tatiana Kolovou for an in-depth discussion in this video Giving constructive criticism, part of Communication Tips Weekly.
- Can you give me some feedback on how you thought the meeting went? That was my colleague asking me to share my thoughts at the latest meeting I attended. She caught me off guard and I wish I would have had some warning, because, to be honest with you, I didn't think she handled the facilitation and organization as well as she could have. Do I say: You did a great job? Or do I tell her? Over 50 percent of employees in today's workplace receive feedback that's too general or not designed to give enough constructive criticism from their supervisors or their colleagues.
This statistic was mentioned in an article in the journal of Association for Talent Development titled "Please Boss Me Around." Giving constructive feedback is an art, and their are a few things to consider before designing your message. That includes: creating an atmosphere for feedback and developing the right strategy for your message. Let's break this down. A feedback-friendly atmosphere starts with you, no matter what your position is. If you ask for feedback for yourself, others around you are more likely to open up, drop their guard, and do the same.
Next time you lead a meeting or give a presentation, ask a colleague to reflect on a few specifics. You can say something such as, "I'm working on focusing on a clear message "with a direct relation to this group. "Can you listen to me present and give me "some specific feedback, such as, "how many times I say 'you' or 'us' "or how many times I mention my main theme." Asking for specific feedback gives your audience something to hone in on when they listen. Not only will you benefit from having an outside perspective but you create a feedback-friendly atmosphere.
Communication strategy matters. Giving feedback is all about timing and context. You want to share you thoughts with someone after you have developed rapport and trust. As I mentioned earlier, it helps to be the first to ask for feedback so that you create an open dialogue on this dreaded topic. When you plan to give feedback to a colleague, consider couching the topics with saying something such as, "I took some notes during the meeting yesterday "while you facilitated, that you may want to hear. "Let me know when is a good time." Announcing the fact that you have feedback takes away the odd situation of giving feedback to the person unannounced.
We've all been ambushed with constructive feedback that comes out of nowhere and covered it with, "I'm your friend and I want to help you." Just don't be that person. Pay attention to the timing of the feedback. Are you approaching the other person during a stress-neutral time for them? Be mindful of the context. Are you sharing work-related feedback during a casual lunch, when they would least expect it? Ask for the receiver to tell you when they want to hear your feedback thoughts. That allows them to choose both the context and the time.
The final aspect of feedback strategy you need to consider is noise. Similar to timing, time of the week, the day or the quarter, find a time and place where you can have a concentrated conversation and allow your listener to pay full attention to your feedback. Craft your message. Your feedback message has to be descriptive, direct, and targeted, in order to be effective. Let me break down the three step approach. Descriptive feedback talks about behaviors and actions versus personal adjectives.
It's better to say to a colleague, who's constantly missing meetings and deadlines, "Can you try and block your schedule differently "during the day, so that you have some time "between projects and meetings?" Direct feedback is clear and hardly misinterpreted. Saying to a colleague who lost her cool in a meeting that she seemed to be passionate about the issues will just not be heard. Replace that with saying, "Your reaction to that idea "in the meeting was very animated. "Help me understand why you feel this strongly about it." Finally, as you design your feedback to be descriptive and direct, don't forget to target it versus overwhelming the listener with too many subpoints.
For next week, try to share the agenda in advance, have someone keep track of it, and be sure to get participation from everyone at the table. Giving constructive feedback should not have to be that tough if you constantly practice open feedback door policy for yourself, find the right time and place to share the feedback, and finally craft a message that's descriptive, direct, and targeted. Practice this on a daily basis and you will soon notice that others will ask you for this valuable resource.
- Understanding introversion and extroversion
- Persuading people
- Negotiating your needs
- Making small talk
- Saying no
- And more…
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.