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Feedback part 1


See also comments in Key Problems – part 2.

No one likes to be criticised and because of this we feel reluctant to give others negative feedback.
Motivation drops easily here.

Prior to any feedback it is best to discuss how feedback will work with individuals.
Once you get input from others the system will work a little more smoothly.

Get input to decide the process

Ask others how they would like to receive both positive and negative feedback and covering which areas.
What format and surroundings do they prefer?
How frequent would they like the feedback?

How you give feedback should be judged against what you know of the individual.
However, feedback should be honest but not blunt and aggressive.

If you fail to correct poor performance early you won’t be doing the individual any favours you may be ruining their career.

Always keep to facts and not hearsay and assumptions.

Don’t make it about personalities keep to the tasks and the requirements for their success.

How did the process work?

When feedback is finished ask the person some questions:

  • How did it go?
  • Did you find it valuable?
  • How will you implement any suggested changes?
  • Is there anything you would like to do differently?

Remember that feedback is for the improvement of personal performance and not to criticise and belittle people.

Things to avoid

Whenever you give any feedback you must treat people with respect.

Poor behaviour

Don’t get angry.
Don’t gesticulate and point at people.
Try not to fold your arms in defiance.
Always give negative feedback in private.
Positive feedback can be done in public assuming the person is not overly embarrassed.

Don’t talk down to people.
Focus on the improvement on performance and don’t dwell on the negative aspects.

Don’t leave anyone out for praise.

When you give praise do not immediately follow it up with “but…”. It will ruin the praise.

If you hear of an indirect compliment pass it on, don’t keep it to yourself.

A good way to look at being a manager is to try to be the manager you would like to have.


Praise can seem rather stale if it’s always given in the same manner repetition can cause a lowering of motivation. Create variety.

Try saying about a good presentation that you really like:

“That was powerful” or
“Thorough and very professional” or
“A very complete account and extremely lucid.”

In other words expand your vocabulary and suit the words to level of performance instead of Continually just saying “good”.