Feedback can cause people to become defensive so it is very important for managers to reaffirm positive behaviors and actions. Some managers are too blunt in their assessments, and overly critical. Praise the good, while being specific, tactful and helpful about the areas that need fixing or improvement. An open, honest dialogue works better than a series of directives or dismissive criticism.
People are more likely to remember the negative than the positive. Feedback on performance therefore should be:
- Immediate to reconfirm what is good, or improve something that is not.
- Positive and helpful, not condescending.
- Specific with examples.
- Honest and tactful, not overcritical.
- Constructive (i.e. explaining ways to improve).
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