Words can be very powerful. They can lift you up or tear you down. Everyday we get an opportunity to build ourselves and others up with the words we choose to use to give them feedback.
I’m very humbled when people ask me for feedback. It takes great humility to ask and accept constructive criticism and it makes giving feedback a privilege. Learning how to give feedback is an extremely valuable skill that not only helps the receiver but can also help the giver grow in their own personal development. Recently, a new instructor at the gym asked for feedback on their class. It would have been easy to start listing out everything they did wrong but would that inspire them to get better? There is a process involved in giving effective feedback and like any other skills, it takes practice to get it right. Below are a few strategies to help you get started:
Open with positive feedback
Positive feedback must be genuine. Even if everything they did was wrong, try to find something that you truly believe was positive. People can spot a faker and it will cause them to lose their trust in you.
Be clear and specific about the feedback
Pick one or two points to address. People often feel overwhelmed with too much negative feedback and it will either make them defensive or demotivated. State as specifically what the person did and make sure you offer a few suggestions on how they could have done better.
Close with by reiterating the positive feedback
Again be genuine and enthusiastic. It is always good to leave on a positive note and it leaves the receiver feeling overall positive about the whole interaction.
Lesson: Getting feedback is a gift but giving feedback is a privilege.