Leadership Tip

How to give difficult feedback

Not all leaders are comfortable giving employees feedback - especially when it’s negative. The fear of hurting people’s feelings and dealing with potential drama holds too many managers back. But people thrive on feedback, which is why giving it early and often is so important. The next time you need to have a difficult feedback conversation with an employee, use these guidelines:

  • Be direct but kind. Don’t beat around the bush. Include specific examples of desired behaviours to help illustrate what you mean.
     
  • Listen. This provides a space in which both people feel respected.
     
  • Don’t make it personal. Imagined slights and malice are toxic, but if you acknowledge the emotions being felt, you open a relief valve for the stress.
     
  • Be present. Show up fully for the discussion, and don’t rush off once it’s over. Follow up later so afterthoughts don’t create imagined distance.
     
  • Inspire effectiveness. Be sure to communicate your aspirations for the person you’re giving feedback to.

The above leadership tip...
was sent in response to a question from a participant on our acclaimed 10/10 leadership development and mentoring programme and adapted from Two-Thirds of Managers are Uncomfortable Communicating with Employees by Lou Solomon. Whether you're a first time manager or an experienced leader, straightforward, practical advice on best practice is hard to find. Until now. To find out how you, your team or your organisation can benefit, please join us on our next complimentary webinar or contact us.


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