Giving feedback is tricky business.
According to Merriam-Webster.com, feedback has 2 distinct definitions:
Helpful information or criticism that is given to someone to say what can be done to improve a performance, product, etc.
An annoying and unwanted sound caused by signals being returned to an electronic sound system
Ever given feedback that fit the second definition more closely than the first? You aren’t the only one. In the article, “How to Give Effective Feedback, Both Positive and Negative“, Alina Tugend from the New York Times looks at the many ways feedback can be misinterpreted, misused, and how to give it correctly.
Instead of a ‘praise sandwich’- sandwiching the bad stuff between two areas that are going well- feedback needs to be, “precise and timely enough so that it’s helpful but neutral enough so that it’s not perceived as harshly critical”.
To take some of the scary out of giving feedback, Alina suggests to think of feedback from a different lens, “If we look at feedback as an opportunity to make someone work better rather than feel better, we’re more likely to do it successfully”.
Where do you struggle when giving feedback? What have you found helpful when giving feedback?