“Feedback is a free education to excellence. Seek it with sincerity and receive it with grace.” – Ann Marie Houghtailing 



Are you a good manager but struggle with delivering constructive feedback? Or Have you ever encountered events where your valuable feedback were ignored by the employees? Or Have you ever felt reluctant in offering constructive criticism to any of your team members with the fear of being misjudged?

If you are someone who holds a directorial designation at an organization and often struggle with the above-mentioned situations then all you need is to understand the basic mechanism of constructive feedback. 

The Science Behind Constructive Feedback 

Irrespective of the size of an organization, giving as well as receiving feedback is an important aspect of organisational growth. Feedback help employees better understand where they are going and where they want to be next. It also helps them set their own goals apart from their organisation’s central goals. 

Kenneth Hartley Blanchard, a famous management author, once said, “feedback is the breakfast of champions.” What he wanted to say was, in order to grow as professionals, employees need to know what to improve in themselves and that can only be done once they positively honour constructive criticism.

Without quality feedback, it is very difficult for employees to head in the right direction. But, at the same time managers and other professionals at directorial designation must know how to deliver feedback in a way that it helps an individual buckle up for the challenges coming their way rather than discouraging them with their harsh and uncalculated words.

Effective feedback is a powerful tool and if used right can help employees flourish at an individual level, but in order to do that you need to use the right approach. 

The Right Approach 

Sometimes while delivering constructive feedback, managers can unintentionally pull the wrong chords, hurt employee’s fragile ego, and even miscommunicate their message with a slight twist in words. 

So, what’s the solution?

The solution to this problem is simply not repeating any of the following mistakes while you are delivering constructive feedback.

  • No dig on the basis of your personal equation with the person:Sometimes, managers take a personal dig at some employees because they don’t like them personally and that directly reflects on their feedback that somehow turn out to be negative in the end. So, this should be avoided at all costs.
  • Making it too impersonal:Some managers like to stay away from personally accusing anyone of anything which makes them fearful of giving individual feedback. These managers give feedback in groups which somehow doesn’t help every employee individually.
  • Haphazard feedback: Some managers are so concerned about their image that they use the sandwich method to deliver constructive feedback. They do this by boosting the morale of the employees by sugarcoating feedback and while they are delivering positive feedback, somehow tend to stuff negative feedback in between, completely confusing the employee.These managers think that they can cushion the blow by doing this but they end up delivering a topsy-turvy speech that doesn’t make overall sense.
  • Playing a self-acclaimed psychologist:This is the worst kind of manager you can come across. These managers try to indulge and keep up with your personal life and then try to judge you on the basis of what’s happening in an employee’s life. These self-acclaimed psychologists tend to deliver feedback on the basis of their understanding of people instead of their performance in general.
  • Non-timely feedback: It is said, “excess of everything is bad” and it holds true for both kinds of managers i.e over harsh one and over-polite one. Some managers keep on postponing giving feedback to employees with the intention to stay polite with them but what happens is that this behaviour actually put hurdles in their individual growth.

A manager’s task doesn’t end with just managing the team but should know how to skillfully deliver constructive feedback without being too personal or impersonal.

So, for all the managers who find themselves in an emotional dilemma while delivering constructive criticism should keep the fact in mind that, all this will help an organization as well as an employee individually achieve their goals and thrive for much better in the years to come. 


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