Mastering Negative Feedback: 8 key techniques for efficient delivery


negative feedback


In general, people tend to be averse to receiving criticism or negative feedback, even when it is intended to be “constructive”. This aversion stems from the subjective nature of feedback, which can vary based on individual perspectives. Conversely, it is very pleasant to hear praise, since recognition words convey a feeling of satisfaction.

Positive feedback plays a crucial role in strengthening working relationships, as it acknowledges the value of a well done job, accomplishments or appropriate behavior in specific situations.

However, when it comes to addressing concerns, delivering reprimands, or discussing areas for improvement, both the recipients and providers of feedback often exhibit resistance.

With that in mind, Siteware developed STRATWs One, a strategic management software with a special feedback module included! Learn more by clicking here!

So, why is it so challenging to provide negative feedback in the workplace? Why do most managers and leaders prefer to avoid confrontation and refrain from giving negative feedback to their collaborators? How can we change this situation? Keep reading to find out!

What is negative feedback?

Feedback is one of the most important practices in managing people within the job market —it encompasses comments and suggestions on the behavior or performance of an employee in a given period. It is essential for professionals to gain insights into their performance quality in order to continually grow and evolve.

There are different types of feedback, ranging from highlighting an employee’s strengths to focusing on areas that need improvement. Negative feedback, as commonly known, involves addressing areas where an employee’s performance is lacking and requires work.

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Negative feedback can encompass a range of issues, such as a professional’s behavior, performance in specific tasks or even their relationship with colleagues and adaptation to the organizational culture.

Although challenging, it is crucial for managers to deliver negative feedback when necessary. This not only allows leaders to fulfill their role of guiding and coordinating their team, but also contributes to the growth and development of individuals, fostering improved teamwork and overall results.

Check out those tips about negative feedback:

negative feedback tips
Souce: TrustMary

Why is it so challenging to provide negative feedback?

Negative feedback, while essential in the workplace, can sometimes create discomfort between parties. However, professionals should recognize the constructive nature of criticism and strive to grow from it; since the primary goal of feedback is to encourage personal and professional development for everyone involved.

Let’s explore the key reasons why delivering negative feedback can be tricky:

Fear of conflicting situations

Most managers fear people’s reaction when faced with criticisms that highlight significant flaws or imperfections in their work. 

As a result, they prefer to stay in their comfort zone; merely coordinating assigned tasks and occasionally offering superficial opinions, even if there is dissatisfaction.

However, it is crucial to reevaluate the way we provide negative feedback. Honesty is valued in all types of relationships, including professional ones. It is essential to be truthful with the individuals we lead, particularly when delivering negative feedback.

By demonstrating that this process contributes to personal growth, career development and professional success, we emphasize its significance.

Negative feedback is often perceived as a means of conveying dissatisfaction

Culturally, this type of feedback is commonly associated with approval or disapproval. However, we need to shift this perception and view it as an opportunity for employee growth rather than mere reproach. 

By reframing negative feedback as a chance for improvement, employees are more likely to accept the arguments and follow our guidance in future opportunities.

Negative effects on work relationships

While we all strive for positive relationships, certain leadership styles can be detrimental to the team and the organization as a whole.

Some managers prioritize maintaining good relations with everyone, even at the cost of delivering mediocre results and failing to reach the proposed goals.This is one of the reasons why some leaders may avoid providing negative feedback to their collaborators.

However, without proper training, managers are unlikely to change their leadership style. They themselves need to receive constructive criticism about their managerial actions. 

Every leader should learn how to deliver negative feedback to their employees, even if it might displease someone. Ultimately, this fosters improvement for both the employee and the organization, benefiting from management that prioritizes excellence in achieving results.

8 tips on how to provide negative feedback

Previously, we explored the significance of negative feedback and its potential impact on team outcomes. Nonetheless, it is widely known that delivering it is no easy feat, even for seasoned managers.

Discover Siteware’s expert tips on providing negative feedback:

  1. Choose a private setting for the conversation, avoiding peers’ presence.
  2. Begin with positive remarks before addressing the negative aspects.
  3. Clearly communicate the purpose of the discussion, ensuring the employee feels at ease.
  4. After delivering the feedback, attentively listen to the employee without interrupting.
  5. Maintain confidentiality by refraining from discussing the feedback with others.
  6. Emphasize the importance of negative feedback for self-awareness and personal and professional growth within the company.
  7. Collaborate with the employee to explore potential solutions to the identified issue.
  8. Develop an action plan together, outlining specific activities and a timeline for implementation.

Effective feedback fosters collaborators’ engagement. Check out our post and learn more about employee engagement activities in companies to increase team productivity.

STRATWs ONE is an advanced corporate performance management software by Siteware. It will elevate your organization’s management to new heights, unlocking a range of powerful features, including the ability to monitor individual performance and streamline feedback processes.

Revolutionize your company’s management with STRATWs One!

demon Mastering Negative Feedback: 8 key techniques for efficient delivery