June 23, 2018

Negative feedback


Feedback, about anything, should be an honest and open assessment of the good and the bad of the thing, in your opinion, in your own words. 

When it’s about human performance – like, about one of your team – you owe it to them (and the rest of the team) to be direct, straightforward, as unemotional as possible whilst expressing genuine empathy, say the things and need to be said (in praise and otherwise). Preparation helps – writing down the bullets can help you deal with a tendency to dodge them.

Yet, the thing about feedback … even when it’s mostly good, they’ll likely only hear the bad. They might hear the positive, but most people brush past the good as they tune in to the bad.

Which means … if there’s anything bad … expect some negativity. Expect wounds.

Doesn’t mean hold back. Does mean understand the terrain.

Skippy strategy: Prepare for negative feedback on negative feedback.