Have you ever had to sit down and have “the talk” with someone? You know… that talk about how they need to improve their performance in order to get better in their _____________ (job, relationship, friendship… you name it).
It’s not easy to have “the talk” with someone. Today, we’ll break down our top three tips for giving productive feedback:
1. If you have negative feedback for someone, never give it in front of other people. “Always give negative feedback one-on-one and in private,” April Lovett, Co-Creator and Host of the Success in Black and White Podcast. “When you give someone negative feedback in front of other people, you devalue them completely.”
“Also, when you give negative feedback in front of others, that person will lose trust in you. You made them look and feel bad in front of their colleagues or their family members or friends,” says Darryl Lovett, Co-Creator and Host of the Success in Black and White Podcast. “Additionally, your other employees, friends, or family will lose trust in you too because they’ll be wondering when they’ll be on the receiving end of your public feedback.”
“The dichotomy here,” says April, “is that negative feedback should be given one-on-one and in private. Positive feedback and praise should be given publicly so as to reinforce the behaviors through affirmation. Leaders have to understand this difference and know when it’s appropriate to give which type of feedback.”
2. Make sure feedback is specific and related to someone’s behaviors or actions. “If there is a particular behavior you want someone to change, you have to go in to that conversation with specific examples of how their behavior was negative to provide context for why it needs to change,” says April.
3. Have a list of potential solutions on-hand for that person. Darryl says: “The person you are giving feedback to is going to wonder what they can do to improve their behaviors or actions you’re providing feedback on. As the person approaching them, you don’t have to be responsible for solving their problem; but it will be optimal to help them come up with solutions to remedy the situation.”
Want more of this conversation? Tune in to the episode of the podcast below to hear Darryl & April’s conversation on “How to Give Productive Feedback”