Leadership Coaching: What Is The Right Way To Give Negative Feedback?

July 10, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

Not everyone thinks alike. Each of us has different views, opinions and perceptions about issues, matters and situations. Therefore disagreements happen, and a lot of times. Disagreeing does not have to mean conflict or chaos, nonetheless. You and people you work with can disagree with each other appropriately while keeping your boundaries. If someone said something you dislike, you can, for example, disagree with what they said rather than the person. You don’t have to be hostile or antagonistic towards him or her. In these kinds of circumstances, you ought to know the right way of giving negative feedback.

What Is The Right Way To Give Negative Feedback?

  • Keep your emotions in check. That is, don’t get too emotional. As much as possible, keep yourself from saying something negative when you are angry or upset. You are likely to overreact in your communication when your emotions are running high.
  • Comment on the deed, not the doer. In management wherein you need to optimize your subordinates’ performance, particularly focus on how they are doing their work, not the people doing them. You’ll end up creating barriers if you’re too critical of the people working under you.
  • Talk in a private place. Nobody wants to be criticized or humiliated while other people are watching, so avoid doing that. Give negative feedback in the workplace in the presence of other employees only when necessary or as a last recourse. As manager, you can call the employee for a meeting in your office, or maybe the lunch room or the conference room when it is vacant.
  • Be clear and specific about your message. Don’t simply say “I don’t like your bad behavior and attitude in the office”. Instead, be specific about the erroneous or disrespectful action of the employee and comment accordingly. Specifically what makes their attitude and behavior bad?
  • Be calm when giving negative feedback. No need to scream or be hysterical, or else the other person will become defensive and antagonistic to what you are saying. Basically, they won’t listen.
  • Know the proper timing. Express your displeasure right after somebody did something objectionable. Did you blatantly catch an employee being rude or disregarding a customer? Reprimand their action right away so that you can immediately correct their behavior.
  • End the conversation positively. Tell the employee that you still have confidence in them despite the error. Apparently you expect them not to do it again. What positive steps can the employee do to improve their performance? Explain accordingly. Likewise, give your subordinate a chance to explain their side and listen. Get the conversation over with when everything has been clarified and move on.

By the way, do you want to learn more about leadership in your company? If so, download your FREE ebook here: Guide to Elegant Courage Leadership

Jodi and Mike specialize in executive coaching with individuals and teams. http://lighthouse-leadership.com

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