The Importance Of Giving Constructive Feedback (With Examples, Tips & More)
Who doesn’t want to improve, right? We all need some kind of feedback – positive or negative – to improve ourselves and enhance our skills but then why is constructive feedback not openly shared or given?
In a recent study by the American Psychological Association (APA), it was found that people consistently underestimate others’ desire for constructive feedback and fail to provide it even when the feedback can improve others’ performance, productivity, morale, and skills.
The lead author of the study, Nicole Abi-Esber says,
“People often have opportunities to provide others with constructive feedback that could be immediately helpful, whether that’s letting someone know of a typo in their presentation before a client presentation, or telling a job candidate about a stained shirt before an interview,”
Constructive feedback is an important aspect when it comes to learning and performing and research suggests that people desire constructive feedback, however, not getting any can discourage them and lower their morale.
In this study, it was also found that despite wanting constructive feedback, people often avoid giving feedback to others. One of the main concerns is the fear of negative responses. When a person avoids offering constructive feedback, they fear that doing so may unintentionally embarrass or insult others. This fear holds them back from helping others, leading them to underemphasize the value and importance of constructive feedback.
Let’s take a look at what is constructive feedback, some examples, and tips on how to offer constructive feedback without offending others.
What Is Constructive Feedback?
Constructive feedback is a form of response that aims at offering a positive observation to someone with either comments, advice, or even suggestions to help them improve their skills. The result of offered feedback can help in improving behaviors, gaining strengths, understanding weaknesses, and offering a second opinion.
This kind of feedback given in both appreciation and criticism can be counted as constructive feedback.
Keep in mind that every successful relationship – whether social, professional, or personal – requires some kind of feedback. Feedback opens room for improvement and can maintain a smooth flow of communication and understanding.
Examples Of Constructive Feedback
It is important to draw a line between constructive feedback and destructive feedback. When you offer destructive feedback, you directly point at the faults of the other person and you may not give any supportive feedback.
Destructive feedback can look like this:
- “You’re wrong”
- “That’s not how you do it”
- “You have no clue what you’re doing”
On the other hand, constructive feedback can look a lot like this:
- “I’ve noticed that you don’t seem motivated to do work and it makes me feel upset. Is there any reason you feel this way? I’m here if you’d like to talk about it. We can even schedule some time apart to discuss this”
- “When you show up late, it annoys me because I feel you’re not giving our talks much importance. When you show up late, you give a negative impact. What do you think?”
- “I have noticed that you’re not taking as much responsibility as you used to. It makes me feel alone. Did I say or do something that made you react this way? You can share your concerns with me”
The Importance Of Constructive Feedback
Constructive feedback can help:
- Increases morale: Constructive feedback can help in improving productivity and can motivate one to work harder.
- Opens communication channels: Often, one may end up without any way to improve communication. Giving feedback can help remove communication barriers.
- Promotes satisfaction: People are always looking to improve their existing skills and offering constructive feedback can give them the satisfaction they are looking for.
- Promotes growth: Constructive feedback often focuses on improving other person’s skills so offering feedback can result in personal and professional improvement as it shows what one needs to change to grow.
How To Offer Constructive Feedback?
1. Keep The Time & Place In Mind
Time and location is the first thing you need to keep in mind. Praise and appreciation can be offered socially but when offering constructive criticism, you need to make sure the time and place are such that the other person would not feel offended or embarrassed. Criticism is best given in a one-on-one interaction. Also, the more you wait to give feedback, the less its impact would be. With constructive feedback, the sooner the better, remember.
2. The Tone Matters Too
Another point to consider is to keep your tone neutral. You won’t be offering constructive feedback if you’re angry or tensed. At the same time, you should sound confident and friendly. Constructive feedback will work wonders if you aim to inspire instead of being sarcastic or funny.
3. Move Forward With Emotional Intelligence
Emotions can run high when it comes to offering and receiving feedback so make sure you’re aware of how the other person will be affected by the feedback. Be aware of the potential consequences. You need to sure that your feedback won’t make the other person feel embarrassed or upset.
Read Also:- Emotional Intelligence Skills You Require In Workplace!
4. Define The Purpose Of The Feedback
Make sure that when you talk to others, the purpose of your feedback is clearly defined. What is it that you’re aiming to address? Is it their behavior? Or performance? It won’t be constructive feedback if the purpose is not clear. Avoid skirting around the problem and be straightforward.
5. Encourage Open Dialogue
People need to be given a chance to put their voice forward so when you’re offering constructive feedback, make sure you word your sentences in a way that encourages an open dialogue. Give them a chance to speak and let yourself patiently hear what they have to say.
6. Be Respectful With Your Suggestions
Because you are talking to others, you need to be respectful and avoid using language that may unintentionally offend them or may cause them to get defensive. You can start with phrases like, “I’m worried about you…” or “I’ve noticed that…” Your suggestions also need to focus on how to help others improve. Don’t make it a personal attack.
Offering constructive feedback can depend a lot on the one offering and the one receiving. It is best if the one offering feedback can try to see the perspective from others’ shoes. Empathy, understanding, and communication are keys when it comes to constructive feedback.
Go on and tell us what you think about constructive feedback and the need to hear constructive feedback for improvement. You can drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on social media. You can also share your thoughts in the comments below!