Do you give effective feedback or negative criticism?
Face it; no one likes criticism. Even when it is delivered in the kindest way possible, we don’t like it. And sometimes, feedback feels like criticism.
It is crucial that before you ever give any criticism if you should ask yourself if the feedback is needed here. Were you asked for feedback? Is it part of your job?
[ctt template=”3″ link=”O8q6d” via=”yes” ]The only time you should offer feedback is if you have been asked for it. Otherwise, just don’t do it.[/ctt]
Because if the answer above is no, then do not give any criticism. If you weren’t asked, don’t offer. Just because you think that the other person can learn from your experience does not mean they are open to learning. The feedback you give might feel like criticism.
For instance, when I cook a big meal at my house and someone says “You know, the next time you cook a turkey, you should use one of those new plastic bags they have”, it sounds to me like they are saying there is something wrong with the way I cook my turkey and I should do it their way.
Feedback is not always received with the same intent that it is delivered. Perhaps you were telling me about a new cool way of cooking a turkey that is easier. Maybe you’re sharing your secret recipe, but that might not be the way that I hear that information.
However, if you were asked for specifically for feedback, there are ways that are more effective any others for giving effective feedback.
When I am asked specifically for feedback (remember, don’t volunteer feedback, wait until you are asked), then I like the LB/NT system of feedback.
LB = Liked Best
NT = Next Time
Give the other person positive reinforcement by stating something that you particularly liked about the situation and something that you could suggest they do different the next time.
NT isn’t criticism; it is a suggestion for something different the next time.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”Le7ED” via=”yes” ]When you make a suggestion for the “next time” it shouldn’t be criticism. It should be a suggestion to do something different the next time.[/ctt]
For instance: Michelle and Victoria are coworkers, each reporting to Rebecca. Rebecca asked Michelle to plan and arrange the annual awards banquet.
When it was over, Michelle asked Victoria what she thought of it, and did Victoria think Michelle did a good job with the event.
The first thing Victoria needs to do is figure out if Michelle is really asking for feedback, or if she is looking for a pat on the back. She could be just asking for positive reinforcement.
Victoria could say something along the lines of “I really enjoyed it and thought that you did a great job. Were you looking for more specific feedback?”
This gives Michelle the option to say, “No, that’s what I was looking for. Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it”.
This way, no harm is done if Michelle was really looking for positive reinforcement. If Victoria launches into everything that she would do differently when Michelle was really looking for a pat on the back, it isn’t going to end well (I’m sure we’ve all had our feelings hurt by receiving negative feedback we weren’t expecting).
If Michelle says, “Yes, I do want more specifics,” then Victoria can do the LB/NT approach.
“I liked that you honored our retired employees. That made them feel very special. Maybe the next time we could give them special name tags to make them stand out even more.”
Have you listened to my voice mail? How does it sound to you?
Negative: Holy cow, you talk so fast on it!
Effective Feedback: I have listened, and I think you sound very pleasant and cherry. If you were to re-record it, you could slow down a little.
IN a review of your superior, you could say:
Negative Criticism: I’ve heard others say that you play favorites.
Effective Feedback: I think that you are a very supportive boss, and everyone feels validated by your leadership style. Perhaps over the next year, you can take everyone out to lunch, and not just some of the group as that looks like favoritism.
If someone hasn’t asked you for feedback you shouldn’t give it, even if you think they need some suggestions for the next time. If they have asked you for feedback, figure out what type of feedback they are looking for (just positive or something constructive as well). To deliver effective feedback, use the LB/NT approach.