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How To Give Constructive Feedback To Your Manager And Co-Workers

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Have you ever been annoyed by a workmate’s habits, but didn’t know how to tell them? Almost everyone has been in this situation, but almost no one has the answer. Some of you may cringe at the thought of giving your co-workers constructive feedback. The temptation to simply say “good job” in a 360-degree review always seems like the safest bet, especially when the recipient is known to have a short temper.

With companies encouraging their employees to give feedback more often, rather than being wary of the inevitable you should learn to use feedback to your advantage. When given the right way constructive feedback can diffuse tensions before they start, help your colleague develop and build a positive work environment.

In this post we’ll outline three different situations in which you may need to give constructive feedback and four steps that will help help make it easier.


There are three types of situations in which you might need to provide feedback:


When someone asks for feedback

The easiest situation to deal with is when a colleague asks you for advice. This may be a younger employee who wants to learn from your experience or a fellow team member who simply wants to know how they’re doing. If they’re coming to you it shows that they’re already open to receiving feedback and actively want to develop their professional skills. Nonetheless, even in this situation you may still find it difficult to be completely honest.

As discussed in the previous guide, having a growth mindset will help change your attitude towards both receiving and giving feedback. As an outsider you can provide your co-workers with valuable insights into their performance and point out certain behavior they may not be aware of. If your colleagues feel they can trust you to give honest helpful career advice, they’ll be more likely to follow your suggestions, and feel more comfortable coming to you when there’s a problem. This can lead to greater cohesion within the team and help you build closer relationships with your colleagues.

If you’re unsure where to start, try to figure out if they want feedback in a particular area. Your co-worker may already have a specific skill in mind that they’re trying to develop, for example improving their sales pitch or presentation skills. Starting off the conversation by asking them how they’re doing at work or what they thought about the last project they completed can give you clues.

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