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How to Give Feedback the Right Way

In the workplace, giving feedback is inevitable.

We’re all human, which means, eventually, someone will misbehave or fall short of expectations. That calls for a hard conversation, but you can make it easier by giving feedback the right way.

Before delivering your feedback, make sure your team feels psychologically safe. That means they believe they can make mistakes without fear of punishment. Psychological safety is essential for your team to feel secure giving and receiving feedback.

Next, understand this fundamental rule of feedback:

Good feedback is actionable; bad feedback is not. For it to be actionable, you want to give your feedback as close to real time as possible. For example, if a teammate had spinach in their teeth, you’d tell them now, not next week. The longer you wait, the less relevant the feedback becomes. And the less opportunity the person has to learn.

Offering feedback in the moment can often feel awkward, especially in a group setting. But it’s better to work to resolve the problem immediately rather than let it worsen.

When you give your feedback, give it from a place of love and concern, not anger or annoyance. Show your employees that you want to help them grow. If they can tell you care, they’ll take your feedback to heart.