Constructive Feedback

After the "Giving and Taking Feedback" training, I wanted to find out more information on giving negative feedback and found some useful links thru google.


I found an interesting 6 step process from one of techrepublic articles

1.       Plan. This helps you develop a framework for providing effective feedback. You should think ahead of time about the behavior that should be highlighted and how you can help the employee improve.

2.       Provide examples. Vague criticism fosters anxiety. Tangible examples are required to highlight the feedback. You do not need to provide dozens of examples. Hopefully, you can make the point with a couple representative observations. If you don’t have examples, you cannot provide the feedback.

3.       Motivate. Use motivational techniques in the discussion. The employee is bound to be disappointed by the feedback. Look for opportunities to build the morale of the team member as well, so that he or she will be eager to improve.

4.       Sandwich. The project manager should start the session with positive comments, then get to the feedback and finish with positive, motivating comments. Many people think this is trite and perhaps obvious. However, it is still a valid way to proceed. If you can find some positive things to say, open and close the discussion by mentioning them.

5.       Allow time for feedback. The process needs to be a dialogue between the project manager and the team member. So, seek feedback from the team member and allow him or her to agree, disagree or provide his/her perspective. It is possible that he or she may have mitigating factors that you were not previously aware of.

6.       Set a timeframe for action and follow-up. The project manager should document any action items, circulate them to the team member and ensure that they are completed. Before the meeting is over, the project manager and team member should also agree on a follow-up timeframe to check progress

I totally agree with the sandwich approach. Approach is to start with the Positive feedback first and give negative feedback and then wrap up the session with a positive feedback. In the training, the trainer mentioned an interesting reason why this approach works well and I feel it makes sense.

·         Negative feedback will drain the energy. To make someone listen, start with something supportive. Point out where you agree with him/ her. Do not fake it, but you can always find something positive about another person, particularly if you are not judging.

·         People will listen, when something is interesting to them. Then put the negative feedback in a constructive way and then wrap up the feedback with a positive comment so that the other person will still feel better.

From the link Giving Feedback for Team members

“State your opinion using “I” statements. “I” statements are always carefully phrased so that you are acknowledging your point of view with no hint of negativity toward the opinion of the recipient. An example of an “I” statement is, “When you interrupt (specific behavior), I feel you do not value my input to the group (expression of your thoughts or feelings), and I would like for you to not interrupt me when I am talking (behavior-change request).” A person is less defensive when you use a specific example and identify your thoughts and feelings (versus saying, “You made me…”). Remember that you are making a behavior-change request of the person—you cannot make the other person change her/his behavior.”

·         If you want to communicate someone point blank and if you feel them that they should go back with the impact, and then do not wrap it up with a positive feedback.


Some Useful Links







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