Reducing negative reactions to feedback

Reducing negative reactions to feedbackIn my conversations around why people do not give performance improving feedback the number one reason is the fear or uncertainty of how to deal with negative reactions. Here are six tips that should help you minimise the change or impact of negative reactions

Reducing negative reactions to feedback:

1 – Prepare your feedback
Take sufficient time to think about the best examples of behaviour you are looking to give feedback on and how you will get these and your message across.
2 – Use simple and clear language
Be as clear as you possibly can. Do not let your nervousness speed your pace of language up or use more complex words than necesery.
3 – Remain calm
Ensure that you are mentally and emotionally calm before starting the conversation and remain so throughout the feedback session.
4 – Spot emotional reactions
Notice how the person receiving feedback is reacting to your comments. Look for changes in facial expressions and body language and if they speak you may be able to spot a difference in pace or tone. Adapt your message or your style of delivery to ensure that they do not get too emotional.
5 – Allow them to input
Make sure the person receiving feedback feels respected by giving them the time to get their ideas over and ask you questions to better understand your point of view.
6 – Structure your feedback
Take the time to organise what you say in a way that is effective to get across. Models such as AID, CEDAR and BIFF may help you be clearer in your message.

Leadership reflections

As usual, here are some questions for you to consider around this article:
1) How did your last 3 feedback sessions go?
2) What could you have done to make it easier for you and them?
3) For the next piece of feedback you will give, how will you approach it differently?

Thanks for reading this. If you have any feedback on this feedback article or any additional models or concepts around feedback that I should look at please reply below.


[Image Credit: Petrenko on]

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