When and Where to Give Feedback
Is it your place to give feedback? Is there someone more appropriate who should give the feedback (Supervisor or Program Coordinator)?
- Timing (when all parties are calm and open to participating in active listening)
- Setting (when it is just the two of you)
- Tone of the message (calm delivery)
Communicate clearly. Make sure the message is clear and relevant.
Be specific. Positive feedback should be specific and realistic. If you praise someone heavily for doing the minimum, (he/she) won’t be motivated to do more. If you overdo the positive feedback, you appear insincere and your message is worthless. Remark on specific opportunities for improvement.
- Avoid using the word “but.” This word negates everything said before it.
- Consider the receiver.
- Allow the person time to respond.
- Don’t take it personally if your feedback does not result in immediate change.
Giving Constructive Criticism
Again, focus on valid and unbiased feedback (facts) and avoid pointing out personal character traits.
Make your message clear and relevant.
- Don’t be defensive. Be open and receptive to what is being said—practice active listening.
- Take the feedback with a grain of salt. Feedback is a reflection of someone else’s opinion—you might learn something.
- Ask questions to clarify.
- Summarize and reflect what you heard.
Adapted from NPS Academy Program Guide