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Giving Constructive Feedback

Constructive feedback aims to achieve a positive outcome by giving someone comments, advice, or suggestions that are beneficial to their work or future. This promotes the individual's personal and professional development.

Do it in private

Make sure you give your feedback in private. Even if you do not mean to, public feedback can quickly turn negative. Refer to your discussion topics so the person is as prepared as possible for the meeting.

Be timely, specific, meaningful, and candid

Comment as soon as possible after the action in question. Your comment should have a clear business purpose that is connected to a larger overall goal. Be truthful and accurate. Include information and make defensible recommendations to change a behavior or course.

Be goal-oriented

Make sure a person has a goal, is acting to achieve that goal, and is informed about their activities related to that goal. Your feedback must be directly related to the goal of the person you are talking to.

Focus on the process, not the person

Your feedback should focus on the behavior, not the person. Discuss the elements of performance that are within their control. Provide useful, actionable feedback that focuses on the process and the things they can change.

Be direct, but show empathy

Give direct and clear feedback. Show empathy and explain that you are giving constructive criticism because you know the employee has the skills to improve their work and because you have confidence in their abilities.

State the purpose, importance, observation, and response

Describe the issue you will discuss and why it is important. Describe the incident or action and how it affects you or other team members. Explain your motivation for sharing the feedback.

Give the person an opportunity to respond

After providing your timely, detailed feedback, ask the person if they have any additional questions or comments. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can talk about workable solutions right away. If the person wants to follow up at a later time, that's fine too.

Offer specific suggestions or solutions

Share your thoughts on how to improve the situation. The more specific you are, the easier it is for the other person to take that feedback and put it into action. If you have a perfect solution, do not be afraid to share it.


To prevent misunderstandings, briefly summarize what was discussed.

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