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Providing feedback (without being an asshole)...

Recieving feedback

Giving and receiving feedback, allows us to maintain our strengths while improving our weaknesses. There are two major types of feedback, constructive, and reinforcing. Constructive feedback is asking someone to change behavior, while reinforcing is acknowledging good behavior.

Giving Constructive Feedback

Constructive feedback is the hardest type of feedback to deliver. This is the feedback where you are asking someone to change their behavior. You may be delivering feedback that is for skill, or behavior change.

feedback, it is not yelling at someone for 20 minutes, nor is it judging them. Feedback helps improve someones weakness, someones professional relationships, and their stance in the organization.

The Delivery

To start ask the person to talk in private. This gives the conversation some level of privacy, and will make this person less embarrassed. Thank them for sitting down and talking to you. Once the formalities are over, begin paraphrasing the offending behavior.

Do not pull other people into the conversation. Stating Stacie has this same issue with this person, puts them on the defensive. Give them your perspective only.

After you have paraphrased the offending behavior from your point of view, give examples of how this behavior affects yourself negatively, and possibly the team. This is the chance to really voice why this behavior needs to stop. Make sure they fully understand your perspectives, and why they are being given this feedback.

Let them respond to your feedback. Fully listen to their explinations, and allow them to ask questions. Their explanation can help bridge you're differences. Toward the end of the conversation provide the person with ways how they can stop, or how they can try to stop. Also let them know what the consequences would be (if any) if they continue to do this behavior. Always give this person a chance to talk, as they gave you. Fully acknowledge their perspectives, ask questions about it, and if you disagree let them know why.

Remember this is a person you are talking to. People should still be talked to with dignity, and respect no matter what. This could be a simple misunderstanding, for which you wouldn't want to upset anyone over.

Giving Reinforcing Feedback

Reinforcing feedback is the kind of feedback that is easy to deliver. This acknowledges the value that person's behavior brings to the organization.

The Delivery

Be specific in your feedback. Just remember you are reinforcing a positive behavior, not touting how genius they are.

This kind of feedback can be addressed to both the employee's manager (if that person is not you), and the employee directly. This should start with a summary of what the employee did that was great, how it affected you, and how it could potentially affect others in a positive manor. Don't ever compare the person to another (ie. this guy is amazing as insert employee of the month). Just remember saying hard-worker, always in the office, etc is not constructive to the conversation, and should be avoided.

Being asked for Feedback by your boss

Sometimes feedback is asked of you by your boss. This person is coming to you, asking how he/she is doing at his/her job. This is not the time to play suck-up, this is the time to be honest. Provide real feedback using the techniques I have outlined above. Letting them know what they could change is the kind of advise they are looking for.

Who should I give feedback to?

Usually it is appropriate for managers to give feedback to subordinates. As long as the culture of your company is not terrible; You should provide feedback to your peers, subordinates, and managers alike. Giving feedback to your boss, allows this person to see things from your perspective, which could be invaluable to someone running a large team. Remember your boss is just as human as you. He/she could be doing the wrong thing over and over again without realizing. Providing him feedback could ultimately improve your working environment, your team, and your companies culture as a whole.

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culture continuous-improvement feedback