When you’re a leader, giving feedback, both positive and negative, comes with the territory. But not everyone is comfortable giving it. Sarah Green, a senior associate editor with the Harvard Business Review, recently scoured HBR’s blog for the site’s best advice for how to give negative feedback. Here are her five tips:
1. Be direct by avoiding the feedback “sandwich.”
Instead of couching criticism with positive feedback (which can dilute the message and sounds insincere), approaching the issue directly and with transparency allows everyone to understand the purpose of the discussion and keep the conversation on track. For example, if a colleague’s presentation style needs improvement, you can approach the conversation by asking if you can provide some feedback. They’ll (most likely) say yes, and will be more open to accepting it.
Step away from the feedback “sandwich,” stick to the facts, and three other tips to giving good feedback.