Feedback is an essential part of any job. Everyone, from interns to CEOs, needs to be able to handle criticism in order to succeed in the long run. While accepting (and giving) feedback can be daunting, mastering this skill can make all the difference to your organization and personal workday. Let’s explore some of the best ways to give feedback as well as accept it from others.
Tips for Giving Helpful Feedback
As a team leader, open communication is crucial. Whether that’s speaking with a client or giving feedback to an employee, you can’t overstate the importance of effective communication. However, giving constructive criticism is much more of an art than people realize. After all, everyone takes criticism differently, and it pays to be respectful about how you give corrections and feedback. Here are what we find to be some of the best ways to give feedback to employees:
- Strike a Balance—No one likes getting a barrage of negative comments. As much as possible, balance constructive criticism with positive takeaways about someone’s work.
- Stay Away from Personal Comments—Never direct your comments to someone personally. When you give feedback, you should discuss behaviors and strategies rather than criticize someone’s personality or character.
- Be Specific with Your Concerns—Always give specific examples of where you’d like to see improvement. If your employees don’t understand your concerns, they can’t very well make the right changes.
- Offer Support—Offer to help your employees as they address your criticisms. People can’t improve if they don’t have the proper resources, knowledge, and support to succeed.
How to Accept Critique
If you give lots of feedback in your position, it’s helpful to be able to take criticism as well. If you plan to give your employees corrections, allowing them to give you open feedback can go a long way to building trust. But just like giving feedback can be tough, so can taking criticism. Check out our tips for accepting critique gracefully:
- Watch Your Body Language—Receiving criticism can be hurtful, and you can’t help how you feel. Sometimes, our body language shows how we feel without ever saying a word. It’s good practice to be careful about what your crossed arms or averted gaze are communicating.
- Don’t Take It Personally—Remember that critique at work is rarely about you as a person; it’s about the results of a project. Good, open feedback should never be taken as a personal attack.
- Reflect on Yourself—A big part of measuring success is taking an inward look at yourself. After receiving feedback, reflect on your past actions and projects. What do you think you can do differently? What should you keep doing well? Recognize your wins, but don’t be afraid to make changes to your approach.
- Follow-up Later—Show you care about the person’s comments by following up later. Ask if your approach has improved or if they have other suggestions for ways to get better.
Set Your Team Up for Good Feedback
So, why is feedback important? Of course, it’s a great performance management tactic, but it also serves to build trust and teamwork among your employees. Whether you’re in a client-facing role or your team mostly works with internal stakeholders, it’s a good idea to take steps to set your team up for good feedback. For one, be sure channels of communication remain open. A team that stays connected is more likely to produce exceptional results.
Working with a performance management professional may also be helpful for earning top marks for your team. Fortunately, the consultants at netlogx have years of experience optimizing performance and helping clients succeed. Meet with one of our consultants to learn more about how you can prepare for projects and evaluate success.