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Providing negative feedback

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Providing feedback, especially in a one-to-one environment can be difficult, especially where conflict, disagreement, personality clashes and negative feelings abound. For most people, it is always much harder to give negative feedback than it is to give positive responses. For any communication to be productive and proactive all parties involved have to be on the same page. So often people forget the purpose or motive behind the communication and concentrate on their own feelings, personal or political agendas. The measure of anyone's communication is their motive and the outcome that they are attempting to achieve. Remember that no-one wins an argument and the unavoidable law of cause and effect dictate that when your motive is less than honourable you will almost certainly get back what you give.

If you are required to provide less than positive feedback to anyone, remember to keep things in perspective and in context. Keep to the main points and avoid straying into areas that have nothing to do with the situation at hand.

Rare though it may be, you will find that some people, for reasons of their own, simply refuse to understand or participate pro-actively. When you have done all that you can and you have provided them with practical and reasonable options and solutions, accept that this is who they are and you are unlikely to change them Here are my 10 tips for avoiding resentment and bitterness in communication:

“ Negative feedback should be the filling between two slices of compliments or positive observations about another person.”

- David Green -

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