7 Tips for Giving Feedback in the Workplace

7 Tips for Giving Feedback in the Workplace

How do you tell someone they’re doing something wrong without making them feel bad? It’s not an easy task to give feedback, especially in the workplace, but it’s necessary if you want to get the most out of your employees and improve your overall business. Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies you can use to make giving feedback easier, so read on to learn how to give tough conversations in the workplace with style and grace.

1.) Understand Your Purpose

As you decide to deliver a piece of feedback, keep these main points in mind: (1) your purpose is to help, not punish; (2) you need to understand how important it is that you deliver your message effectively; and (3) as hard as it might be, you need to give constructive criticism rather than simply giving feedback. Tough conversations are not easy to have, but they can improve relationships at work—and at home. Start by understanding your purpose.

2.) Prepare Yourself

One of biggest reasons people avoid giving feedback is because they don’t feel prepared to have a tough conversation. Being prepared can help you have better conversations and will make it easier to give—and receive—critical feedback. Here are seven ways to prepare yourself before giving negative feedback. (Don’t forget: positive feedback doesn’t require as much preparation.)

While it’s important to feel prepared, don’t overthink things. Most feedback conversations should be fairly short—around 15 minutes at most. The more you think about giving feedback, and how to give it, the more stressful it will be. Instead of thinking too much about giving feedback, focus on what you want to say and how you want to say it. If a conversation does go longer than planned, that’s okay!

3.) Know Your Audience

By understanding who you’re addressing, you can tailor your words accordingly. Before tackling a tough conversation, consider what is going to be most effective for both parties: if you need to address a sensitive topic, having direct and honest communication is probably your best bet. If more leeway and openness would help both parties learn from each other’s mistakes, try phrasing things as suggestions rather than orders.

No matter what you decide, it’s important to maintain a supportive tone. It may feel harsh or difficult to give feedback that you know will upset someone else, but remember that you’re trying to help your team members grow and improve. Even if they don’t like how you communicated your ideas at first, they should be able to look back on conversations and appreciate constructive criticism if it ultimately helps them learn and succeed. As a bonus, people are more likely to listen when they feel heard.

4.) Be Direct and Specific

The most common advice that people give when it comes to giving feedback is to be direct and specific. Although that seems like good advice, it’s not as useful as you might think. Direct and specific are not metrics, meaning there isn’t really a way to tell if you are being direct and specific enough. At times, less is more; other times, more is more.

The key to giving helpful feedback is knowing how much to say. If you have a lot of feedback to give, break it up into smaller chunks. Likewise, if you are just going to point out one or two things, make sure they’re big-impact items. The middle ground is not where you want to be; aim for specific and useful on one end or broad and vague on the other.

5.) ASK for Feedback if it is NOT Provided to you

Whether it’s a meeting with your boss or a weekly one-on-one, you should always take the opportunity to ask how you can improve. People are often afraid of appearing incompetent or weak, so they do not speak up. However, asking others how they think you can improve shows that you care about your career and want to be given constructive feedback. It also helps strengthen relationships at work by showing that you trust your colleagues to provide useful insights into your performance and work style.

6.) If you are Provided with Feedback, Be OPEN

Listening to someone’s feedback can be difficult, particularly if it’s critical. However, it is important to remember that everyone wants you to succeed and do your best. People care about you and have your best interests at heart, even if they are not exactly sure how to tell you what they think. When someone gives you feedback, take a few moments and listen before reacting so that you can better understand their perspective.

7.) Don’t take Things Personally

Whether it’s constructive feedback from a supervisor or negative feedback from a client, an important part of learning how to have tough conversations is realizing that you don’t need to take things personally. Some feedback may feel like an attack, but remember that many people are unaware of their own shortcomings and simply aren’t sure how to give constructive criticism.

If you’re having a tough conversation with your supervisor, try not to react defensively. Instead, take some time to listen and understand why your supervisor is giving you feedback, as well as what they want you to do about it. It’s important to remember that although constructive criticism can be hurtful, it shouldn’t be personal.

Thought about a side gig?

Thought about a side gig?

Have you ever thought about a side gig? Maybe one day leaving your corporate job behind and doing something for yourself? Something you can do wherever and whenever you want? Knowing that when you go to work, you do so for YOU, and not for some corporation? Maybe an opportunity to work from anywhere?

I know some of you have expressed these ideas to me over the years, and I’m honoured to be introducing one of my business inspirations to you all – Shandra Moran from The Transit Lounge.  Shandra is a woman I look up to, having been through her corporate career, ending in being diagnosed with severe adrenal fatigue and being forced to change the way she operates.

She now spends her days helping women manage the transition from the corporate job to being their own boss and she has created Australia’s first ever Side Gig Mentoring Month – Side Gig September.

In this 30 min interview, Shandra shares her story of how she ended up where she was (and the signs to look out for), the 5 stages of transition so you can identify where you might be at, and what she will be covering throughout the month of September.

Find out what stage of transit you are in, therefore identifying the exact tasks you need to focus your time on, and uncover the top 4 mistakes that most women make when transitioning to their own business.

Join the Q&A workshops, the private Facebook group and get all the support you can handle – all entirely free! Join now: https://thetransitlounge.com/side-gig-september


Michelle McFadyen – Real Life Story

Michelle McFadyen – Real Life Story

Michelle is a down-to-earth leader, who has a real passion for helping people to believe in themselves and to help them see their strengths. You can see this as tears form in her eyes when I ask her to leave us with a final thought.

This final tip she left us with was so powerful, that I asked her to say it again – just to make sure we all got the message.

Please take an hour to listen to this story of an amazing woman, who not only professionally, but personally is leading her best life.

Erin Strang – Real Life Story

Erin Strang – Real Life Story

In this real life story, Erin Strang, Chief Financial Officer, Sunwater, shares her financial services journey of over 20 years, shares the things she love about leading people and talks about how she overcome the challenges she experienced while working in a male dominated environment.


Put the time aside and have a listen  to Erin.

Sam Williams – Real Life Story

Sam Williams – Real Life Story

In this real-life story we hear from Sam Williams, Head of operations, Smart and Simpler for Woolworths Group. Sam talks about how she is the happiest she’s ever been. 

She shares her personal turnaround and how tragic circumstances allowed her to really fully understand the key components to her ‘Happy Cake’. 

Her Leadership Journey Founder, Emma Rhoades asked questions of Sam like:

  • How true is the story that stepping into a senior level role means more stress, anxiety and less time with family? 
  • What do we do to help women to start to believe in themselves more? 
  • What do you say to women who have applied for roles, but cannot seem to get a foot in the door? 
  • What have been some of the biggest wins of your career?

If you’ve been thinking that you can’t have a balance between family and career, and feel you’re not good enough in any way, then you need to listen to this real life story. 

Justine Kennedy – Real Life Story

Justine Kennedy – Real Life Story

This story of Justine Kennedy was real, raw and full of courage. 

Justine’s career with Bendigo started when she was a client, doing her banking! The power of her ability to create relationships meant that the manager at the time, offered her an interview for a job.

Fast forward 10 years later and she manages 16 staff and two branches. She claims her values have never changed and that people always will come first for her.

Put the time aside to hear how she has created an engaged and productive team and one of the most successful businesses within Bendigo.