Giving and Responding to Constructive Feedback

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  • 0:01 Constructive Feedback
  • 1:15 Giving Constructive Feedback
  • 4:47 Receiving Constructive…
  • 6:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Giving and receiving feedback in a work environment allows individuals to understand how they are performing in their job. There are suggestions that individuals can follow to better understand how to deal with criticism.

Constructive Feedback

Employees need to have the ability to make improvements and changes in their performance that will result in more productivity and better working conditions. One method to help improve employee work-life is the use of constructive feedback. Constructive feedback is information about a person's tasks that is delivered by a peer or manager in the hopes of promoting improvement at work. This lesson will cover giving and responding to constructive feedback in the work environment.

How do you handle criticism? Are you the type who feels as though they have been attacked and personally violated? Do you feel anger at the person delivering the criticism? How about feedback? Do you feel comfortable confronting an employee who is not doing a good job? Providing feedback and criticism in the workplace can be a difficult task to accomplish from both ends of the message.

Bubba Smith is the manager of BBQ Ribs and Things in Texas. It is company review time at the restaurant, and he has to provide feedback to his employees. In addition, he will also be reviewed by the president of the company later in the month. Let's first take a look at how best to give constructive feedback.

Giving Constructive Feedback

Bubba Smith has to give the newest member of the serving staff her first job review. Sunny Jones has worked for six months at BBQ Ribs and Things as a waitress. She is excited to see if she will be receiving a raise based on her 6-month review. Here are the following guidelines that Bubba will follow in order to give appropriate work feedback:

1. Choose an appropriate workplace setting to deliver the feedback.

Individuals should never give feedback in a public forum. There is then the chance of embarrassing the recipient or having a public fight. Always have a one-on-one meeting where the conversation can be professional and focused. Bubba always gives reviews in his office. If he needs to communicate some feedback during the day, he always makes a point to pull the individual aside privately to discuss his concerns.

2. Provide direct, honest, and specific feedback.

Individuals should not avoid feedback because they are concerned about a negative reaction. Feedback should be honest, direct, and specific with explanations and examples provided to the recipient. Bubba knows that Sunny is hoping to receive a raise with this review. He unfortunately has to deliver some negative feedback. The customers have complained about how she does not follow up with the table requests for additional napkins, drink refills, dessert requests, etc. Bubba has provided specific days, tables, and customer examples to illustrate to Sunny an area she needs to make improvements.

3. Give a positive feedback 'sandwich'.

Feedback should never be just the delivery of negative criticism. Individuals should provide positive feedback, negative feedback, positive feedback, or PNP. This method will help soften the negative criticism, and the recipient will be more receptive.

Bubba started his review with Sunny by complimenting her friendliness with the customers, which is positive. He then mentioned the issue with not following up with table requests, which was the negative. Then he told her that she showed excellent team camaraderie and always helped out co-workers, the positive. Finally, he closed the review by telling her that she would receive a small raise based on a probationary period of three months. Once Bubba noticed she was making the table request changes, he would then increase her raise to the full amount.

4. Criticize only behavior and not personal traits.

A workplace review should not consist of insults or critiques of personal factors, such as weight, height, and personality. Bubba always sticks to work-related performance and never strays into personal areas.

5. Let the recipient of the feedback respond.

It is important for feedback to provide a 2-way communication message. The recipient of the feedback should be allowed to respond to any criticism. It allows them to defend or explain their actions. For example, Sunny explained that the customers who had issues with her table requests were there during the busiest time periods. She just was unable to service all of her tables' requests in time.

6. Build final feedback suggestions together.

The last part of giving feedback would be to ask the recipient for suggestions for building an action plan to make the improvements needed. Sunny told Bubba that if a busboy was helping her deliver extra ketchup, refill drinks, and bring more napkins, the issue would have never developed with the customers. Bubba also reiterated the procedure for her raise and set up another review in three months.

Receiving Constructive Feedback

Now that Bubba's reviews have been completed for all of his employees, he now has to submit to his own feedback delivered by the president of the company. There are guidelines that Bubba needs to follow in order to process constructive feedback effectively.

1. Conduct a self-assessment before the review.

A self-assessment is a reflection or analysis an individual performs on their own work. It is important to write down areas that are positive successes and those that need improvement. Bubba has a computer file where he keeps track of his problems and successes over the year. He printed out the report before his meeting with the president and quickly reviewed it.

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