I hope the summer is treating you well and you’re spending some time outside with friends and family.
Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about providing negative feedback, or I like to call it constructive criticism.
Four times a year at Brokers International, we do performance reviews, and on occasion, it’s our job as leaders to provide a little bit of negative feedback or constructive criticism to things that we see that maybe aren’t to our liking or that we believe could be done a little bit better.
Sometimes it’s even performance related. I believe the best way to provide negative feedback or constructive criticism is to be direct and then ask a lot of questions.
Why does someone do what they do? Do they understand how someone is perceiving that action or that inaction or their behavior in a certain way?
I’ll share a quick story of the first time I received really good negative feedback from a boss. I was in a meeting with my peers and someone brought up an idea, and I didn’t like that idea, and I shared that I didn’t like that idea. I didn’t think it would fly.
At the end of that meeting, my boss pulled me aside and said, You know, most of the time you’re spot on with your criticism or your remarks or your comments. But, boy, your delivery stinks.
Her comment to me was, think about how you say something, not what you’re saying. And that, I believe, is the lesson in providing negative feedback. Oftentimes it’s not what we’re saying, it’s how we’re saying it.
And to this day, there’s literally not a week that goes by that I don’t think about that conversation that she had with me and how I say something, not necessarily what I’m saying. And I believe that’s the best way to deliver negative feedback is to be direct, be honest, ask some questions and have a conversation about negative feedback.
Because most of the time most of us want to get better and getting an opportunity to receive that negative feedback or constructive criticism can really alter the way we do things.
So I challenge you to think about how you provide constructive criticism and make it a win-win for both parties.
Have a great week.