How To Give Negative Feedback: Steps and Tips

How to give negative feedback
  1. Ensure your emotions are stable and under control. …
  2. Deliver the negative feedback in a private area. …
  3. Give feedback that is centered on the behavior, not the person. …
  4. Skip the superficial comments. …
  5. Make sure the feedback is timely. …
  6. Keep your feedback specific. …
  7. Stay calm. …
  8. Allow the employee to respond.

How to Give Negative Feedback

What is the importance of giving negative feedback?

There are several reasons negative feedback is important. The primary reasons include that it:

What is negative feedback?

When giving an employee negative feedback, which is also known as constructive feedback, the goal is to identify behaviors that need to be changed in order to avoid problems or poor performance. Negative feedback’s objective is to assist a worker in altering their behavior in order to improve performance and productivity at work. Negative feedback needs to be given right away after the behavior has occurred and should be specific to that behavior for it to be effective.

For instance, rather than waiting several days or weeks to address the issue if an employee submits a contract incorrectly, the manager should speak with the employee as soon as they receive the contract.

A manager, team leader, or supervisor can use negative feedback as a potent tool to increase productivity at work. While giving this kind of feedback can be uncomfortable for managers, many workers will appreciate it and even seek it out from their superiors. Negative feedback is effective for both the employee and manager, and it can improve their rapport and level of trust.

How to give negative feedback

When giving an employee constructive criticism, you can follow these steps:

1. Ensure your emotions are stable and under control

Make sure your emotions are under control before you can constructively provide feedback to someone else. If you are upset, angry, or experiencing another negative emotion, it can be challenging or even impossible to give constructive criticism. Additionally, you must ensure that the recipient of your feedback is largely composed. This will enable them to receive criticism without becoming defensive.

2. Deliver the negative feedback in a private area

Giving an employee constructive criticism in front of coworkers or members of the team is never a good idea. As a result, the employee may feel embarrassed and the feedback may not be well received. To meet with the employee privately, arrange a time to do so in your office or a conference room. By doing this, you’ll demonstrate your respect for the employee and persuade them to be more forthcoming in their feedback responses.

3. Give feedback that is centered on the behavior, not the person

It’s crucial to keep the focus on the specific behavior you want to change rather than the employee as a person when giving negative feedback to a team member or employee. By concentrating on the behavior, you can help the employee receive the feedback and avoid defensiveness or feeling as though they are being attacked. The format you used to write the contract was incorrect, so let’s focus on changing that format to ensure every contract you submit is accurate, as opposed to saying “you wrote the contract incorrectly.” “.

4. Skip the superficial comments

Some managers or supervisors will make superficial remarks or unnecessary compliments to start a conversation about negative feedback. Typically, the manager does this because she thinks it will make it simpler for the employee to hear the bad news. However, coming off as conceited will ultimately work against the manager or supervisor instead of in their favor. When providing constructive criticism, keep the facts in mind and try to be as open-minded, considerate, and vulnerable as you can. This will encourage the employee to respond similarly.

5. Make sure the feedback is timely

When delivering unfavorable feedback, timing is crucial. As soon as the behavior you want to change occurs, it’s crucial to provide feedback. Instead of waiting days or weeks to talk about an incident, doing so will encourage the employee to start acting right away and may make the feedback feel less harsh.

6. Keep your feedback specific

You should make sure the feedback is timely and as specific as you can. Tell the employee precisely which parts of the form they filled out incorrectly and how to correct those parts, for instance, rather than simply saying “you filled out the form incorrectly.” You can also discuss the effects that performing the action or engaging in the behavior will have if it is done incorrectly in the future.

7. Stay calm

Constructive criticism can be difficult to give, especially if the employee is acting aggressively or the behavior being discussed is severe. However, regardless of how upset you may feel, it’s crucial to maintain your composure. Losing your cool won’t help the situation, and the employee might refuse to alter their behavior or receive constructive criticism poorly.

8. Allow the employee to respond

You should engage in a conversation to provide constructive criticism. This means that after explaining the behavior and the necessary changes, you should give the employee a chance to respond and voice any concerns or ask any questions. This demonstrates your respect for the workers’ time and opinions and your readiness to hear them out.

9. Create a note or action plan

Create a note or action plan that both you and the employee will share after you’ve fully discussed the problematic behavior and the employee is aware of what is expected of them. Set clear expectations for the employee’s performance, including the dates by which they must be met. You can also specify more frequent intervals, like once a week or once a month, in which you’ll evaluate the workers’ progress.

Include that on the plan or note as well if there is anything you as their manager need to do to support their behavior change. For instance, be sure to include that in the agreement if you need to implement a new training strategy.

10. Determine when you will follow up with the employee

Choose a time and date to follow up with the employee after your meeting with them and to review the note or action plan you created in the previous step. An essential part of the feedback process is consistently evaluating the development of the workforce and giving commendable feedback on changes made. Additionally, it fosters a sense of accountability and raises the probability that the worker will actually implement the agreed-upon behaviors.

Tips for giving negative feedback

When providing constructive criticism to your team members or employees, keep the following in mind:


How do I give negative feedback to my boss examples?

Examples of processes that utilise negative feedback loops include homeostatic systems, such as:
  • Thermoregulation (the induction of mechanisms to bring the body’s temperature back to normal levels)
  • Blood sugar control (glucagon raises blood sugar when it is low and insulin lowers it when it is high)

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