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How to Give Negative Feedback in a Positive Way

Negative feedback – it’s never something you look forward to giving as a leader.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it. Although it’s difficult to say negative things about your employees’ work, it’s worth remembering that your staff can only thrive if you give them direction.

Negative feedback is a method of giving your team members the tools they need to improve and get better at their jobs.

According to one study, 83% of employees say they appreciate both positive and negative feedback.

So, how do you give criticism in a way that’s positive and beneficial?

Be Direct

The best approach is to be direct. The employee is more likely to listen to your comments if you’re clear about what you want them to learn.

Avoid the “feedback sandwich” common in many business environments, where you surround criticisms with compliments. Although it’s nice to give some positive feedback to soften the blow, you want them to walk away with a clear vision of what they’ve done wrong and what they need to work on.

Be specific about exactly what the issue is and what you want to change. You can ask the employee if they have any questions to help ensure their understanding.

Try this: “I know you’ve been working long hours lately, and we appreciate the effort, but the quality of your work is starting to slip. We need to find a way to get back on track.”

Encourage Self-Reflection

Your feedback will likely be more effective if it doesn’t feel like an attack.