Providing constructive criticism isn’t always easy. As a result, some managers gloss over problems with their employees, hoping they will improve on their own. But constructive criticism is an important part of being an effective manager. Here are some ways to provide quality feedback to those who report to you.
Outline strengths as part of your feedback. Start the discussion with a genuine compliment. When giving feedback, it’s beneficial to follow a three-step process that includes focusing on what the employee is doing well, giving some areas for improvement and then setting a goal for the positive results that are possible.
Make recommendations. No one likes being ordered around. That’s why feedback in the form of a recommendation can be a much more effective way to help people grow and improve.
Stick with one issue at a time. Provide feedback in small doses, if possible, and do so in a timely manner. Don’t unload months of resentment in one afternoon.
Get specific. Make sure you’re giving specific feedback that includes real examples. Vague feedback is too easily misinterpreted, which can lead to misunderstandings. Be as specific as possible.
Keep it positive. Criticism can be a useful motivational tool, but only when you also provide positive recommendations on how a person can improve. When you finish with this step, the subject of your critique should understand what you’re trying to say. In the best-case scenario, your feedback can create a call to action.