- Offer an example! Don't just tell someone that they have a generic problem (you have poor presentation skills). Give them a concrete example (talk about the meeting last week where they did not pace their presentation well and ran out of time before conveying crucial information).
- Focus on a problem that the other party can fix. As Tumlin says, "If you tell Jim that he’s a bad presenter (a criticism), how does he fix that? But if you tell him he had too many slides during yesterday’s client pitch (feedback), you’ve pointed out something that he can fix.
- Be concise. In many instances, we don't extract ourselves from the conversation. Out of our discomfort, we keep the dialogue going, even after we have conveyed our key point. Tumlin explains, "Length doesn’t correlate to success when it comes to delivering negative feedback; long conversations confuse as often as they clarify. Your goal is to communicate the negative feedback, not to produce a dazzling epiphany, a heartfelt apology, or a ton of emotive dialogue. Once you’ve communicated your message, get out of the conversation, and allow time and space for the feedback to work."
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Giving Negative Feedback
Geoffrey Tumlin has a very useful article at Fast Company on the art of giving negative feedback. Here are several of his key tips: