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How to give useful feedback

The secret to getting your point across clearly without demolishing someone's confidence

by Psychologies

How to give useful feedback

Constructive criticism isn’t as simple as just giving feedback. We have people’s feelings to contend with, not to mention the worry of sounding too harsh or not being clear enough.

Paul McGee, motivational speaker, coach and author of How To Succeed With People (Capstone, £7.69), shares his secrets on how to motivate people with your criticism, not deflate them.

  1. Point out the positives first by talking about what worked well and giving specific examples. For instance, ‘Your ability to… worked brilliantly!’
  2. Address any potential negatives or areas for improvement by saying, ‘It would be even better if…’. Then highlight how the person could do it better the next time.
  3. Be specific and clear in your feedback and put the emphasis of your conversation on improvement, not what they did wrong. Even a few excessively negative words can have a lasting impact.

Picture: plainpicture/Kniel Synnatzschke