Not all critical feedback is constructive feedback
Few of us enjoy being given critical feedback.
However research shows that despite the nice feeling of receiving praise, 75% of us believe that corrective feedback does more to improve our performance than positive one. In fact, at Netflix the recommended guideline is to provide a mix of 25% positive (continue doing) and 75% developmental (start doing and stop doing) feedback.
You may have noticed the use of words ‘corrective’ and ‘developmental’ rather than ‘critical’. That’s because, not all critical feedback is constructive feedback.
A quote to keep in mind
“Candour is like going to the dentist: a lot of people will avoid it if they can.”
– Reed Hastings, ‘No Rules Rules’
How to make sure your critical feedback is constructive
Here are at least a few guidelines:
💡Observations – start with concrete and specific observations, focusing on the person’s past behaviours and how they are not benefiting them;
💡 Actions – outline what the recipient might be able to do differently, including specific and clear examples;
💡 Benefits – highlight how your feedback would benefit them, the organisation and/or your relationship;
💡 Control – focus on the things that are within the person’s control;
💡 Emotional Energy – ensure that you and the other person have sufficient emotional energy to provide and receive feedback e.g. consider your emotional state, how jam-packed your day is and the physical space;
💡Don'ts – try not to provide feedback to get a frustration off your chest, when it’s solely based on a personal preference, and without preparation.
Providing constructive feedback is invaluable, so don’t shy away from it!