Often, in the previous articles, I have mentioned how people validate others even when they don’t feel it is true. For instance, complimenting a painting even when we don’t feel it. Usually, validations make the receiving person genuinely believe it and as a result, they will continue to be unaware of their mistakes and never improve. The problem with giving accurate feedback is many do not like to sound negative either because of hesitation or because of the fear of disappointing/hurting the other person. So, here are the tips to give effective feedback while encouraging the person to improve.
Tip 1 – Be aware of the subject
When we are giving feedback, we should be specific i.e., we should talk about what we liked and what we didn’t. Vagueness doesn’t help the person to improve. Hence, to be specific we should be well aware of the subject. This also applies when we want to suggest improvements. Do not give feedback only because you are asked to. If you are not well aware, then tell the person that you are not the right candidate to give feedback and suggest to them a professional or someone who you know is good at the subject. Remember not to be ashamed to say you are unaware, not everyone has to know everything.
Tip 2 – Environment
While giving feedback, the environment is most important. Negative feedback or criticism must be done in private whereas praise or a compliment can be given in public as well. Also remember, before giving feedback to have a fresh mind and a plan about what you want to say. Create a comfortable environment and start with positive points. While talking about negatives, focus on one point at a time. Do not say all the points at once. Doing so can only make the person overwhelmed and discouraged.
Tip 3 – Objectivity and Direct
While analyzing an outcome, it is important to keep your subjective opinions and feelings aside. Be honest, and objective. Try to view the result from the third-person point of view so your feedback can be more useful. Also, remember to be direct. You do not have to sugarcoat things.
Tip 4 – Focusing on Improvements
Always think about all the possible ways to improve the result. Remember, nothing is perfect. There will always be points where people can make improvements so try to notice them. Having said that, improvements don’t necessarily mean it should be a negative point. one can also improve their positive side to be more successful.
Tip 5 – The Usage of Words
Giving negative feedback doesn’t mean you can be rude. It only discourages the person. To use criticism, one must be careful about the words one picks. Instead of saying ‘you don’t know’, ‘you are bad at’, or ‘but’, try using the words ‘you can’ or ‘what if’. For instance, rather than saying ‘your content is great but you are bad at communication’, trying saying ‘you have great content, and what if we focus on your communication so you can reach more people?’ that way you are motivating and encouraging the person to improve.
Unfortunately, a lot of us are not getting accurate feedback but it’s high time that has to change. Giving effective feedback can help the other person learn and grow. Hence, we should stop validating others and start being honest about our reviews.