The 12 Rules of Giving Negative Feedback (According to Experts)

Posted on 10th May, 2017 by Barbara Davidson

Giving feedback is a sensitive issue. If you see a colleague struggling, your instinct is to help them improve. But if you’ve got nothing positive to say, you risk hurting somebody’s feelings. How can you let your teammates know they could be doing better work?

With a change of attitude, the feedback process can become a positive force within your team. It is all about creating a culture of feedback and learning how to criticize effectively. For example, you might begin by organizing a pre-feedback meeting to discuss the importance of feedback and the best ways of giving and receiving it.

If you avoid giving feedback because you’re worried it will go badly, try to look at it the other way around. Start thinking in advance about how you can make the most of a tricky situation: It is widely believed that conflict can be good for your business. If your feedback is professional and your attitude is open, healthy debate will lead to stronger and better outcomes.

Figuring out the best way to give negative feedback is a good start. Our new infographic provides 12 essential do’s and don’ts for the feedback process to help you avoid any pitfalls. Share it with your team, and you will be on the same page the next time a difficult discussion is needed.

Remember, you give negative feedback because you care. Try to introduce the subject to those around you, and you should start to see the quality of work improve over time.

Grant Halvorson, H. (2013). Sometimes, Negative Feedback Is
Schwarz, R. (2013). How Critizizing in Private Undermines Your
Knight, R. (2014). How to Give Your Team
Ashkenas, R. (2014). Stop Pretending You Can’t Give Candid
Bregman, P. (2011). Don’t Be Nice; Be
Phoel, C.M. (2009). Feedback That
Correll, S. (2016). Research: Vague Feedback Is Holding Women
Schwarz, R. (2013) The “Sandwich Approach” Undermines Your
Petersen, D. (2014) Carole Robin: How to Create a Feedback-Rich Environment.
Roth, D. (2013). Supporting Healthy Conflict In The

About Barbara Davidson

Babs is Lead Content Strategist and financial guru. She loves exploring fresh ways to save more and enjoy life on a budget! When she’s not writing, you’ll find her binge-watching musicals, reading in the (sporadic) Chicago sunshine and discovering great new places to eat. Accio, tacos!