Managers — How to Give Negative Feedback More Effectively
Notice to new managers: it is possible to give negative feedback more effectively. Negative feedback, given appropriately and effectively, should not hurt or disengage you or the recipient.
Too Many Managers Do Not Like to Give Negative feedback
We know from over 500,000 annual employee engagement survey responses and from new manager training program feedback, that too many new managers do not give negative feedback even when they know they should. They dread the unknown reaction and are worried that the receiver will:
Not one of these reactions fulfills the purpose of having an effective performance conversation based upon constructive and warranted feedback.
The Purpose of Feedback at Work
We believe the purpose of feedback at work is to help improve levels of employee engagement and performance. The key to delivering negative performance feedback as a new manger is to provide a safe environment and to ensure the recipient understands that you, as their manager, want to help them succeed. It’s not the content so much as the intent.
Three Tips to Give Negative Feedback More Effectively
If you project a genuine intent to be helpful and supportive, then your message should be heard, absorbed, and carefully considered. Here are some new manager difficult conversation tips on how to give the kind of feedback that provides insight and actually improves performance:
It may be natural to feel angry or resentful when one of your team members is not pulling their weight. But clear those feelings before you begin the dialogue. Remember, it is not about you; it is about your direct report.
Two Tips to Receive Negative Feedback More Effectively
While much is written and taught about how to give negative feedback effectively, little is written about how to receive negative feedback. Here are two tips for the receiver:
Put the meeting in perspective and ground yourself first. This is not a measure of your self-worth but an opportunity to learn, connect and grow. Take advantage of the gift of feedback.
The Bottom Line
Managers are responsible for their team’s performance. It may be easier to give positive feedback than to give negative feedback, but both are necessary for real and meaningful performance improvement and accountability. And remember, as you model an effective feedback process, ask for feedback on your own effectiveness as a manager.
To learn more about new manager performance, download Do You Have High Performing Managers? The 4 Management Metrics that Matter Most
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