Wednesday, 5 September 2007
I have come to the disturbing conclusion that negative feedback, when given in a constructive way, has the greatest impact on changing behaviour and improving performance...
WE all need to know what we've done wrong, or poorly, or when we have performed in some other way which is inappropriate. And, immediately and always, we need to know in what respects it was wrong or poor or inappropriate, and we need suggestions on ways in which it could have been correct or better or more effective.
It's hard to handle this aspect of our work and when dealing with negative feedback we need to think carefully about the language we are using - we need to use questions rather than statements and criticisms and we must offer both challenge and support. Our most constructive feedback must high on support and high on challenge and we need to work with colleagues to explore alternatives.
Clearly it is always important to note how the feedback is received and to anticipate an emotional response. We need to make time for the feedback and consider when is a good time to give feedback. We need to be supportive but don't get distracted from your aims.
Finally, always end of a positive note of encouragement. Say whatever you can that's encouraging and truthful.
PS I am grateful to my colleagues at Elmete for the feedback!