Giving constructive feedback

Guidelines for giving constructive feedback

  • Focus on the positive – what you talk about you are reinforcing – where possible give positive feedback first and last.
  • Be descriptive, not evaluative.
  • Talk about the specific behaviour and give an example where possible.
  • Use an “I” statements.
  • Where feedback is negative suggest alternatives where appropriate. Ask yourself – “Why am I giving this feedback?” For me? Or to help the person concerned?
  • Remember feedback says at least as much about the giver as the receiver.
  • It is normally useful to give negative feedback only about things that can be changed.
  • Give feedback as soon after the event as possible.
  • Give feedback only when asked to do so, or when your offer of feedback is accepted.

 Guidelines for Receiving Feedback

  • Listen to feedback.
  • Assume that feedback is constructive.
  • Use and consider only those elements which are constructive, and consider them carefully.
  • Pause and think before responding.
  • Ask to repeat if you haven’t heard clearly.
  • Ask for clarification or examples if statements are unclear or unsupported.
  • Accept negative and positive feedback positively for consideration, rather than dismissively for your protection.
  • Ask for suggestions of ways you might modify or change your behaviour.
  • Respect the person giving feedback, and thank them.

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