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Constructive Feedback – Meaning, Types, Examples

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Feedback is an essential element of the communication & work process, without which the work cycle will remain incomplete. In the workspace, constructive feedback plays a more crucial part in effective communication – it helps in reaching the desired goals at a faster rate. Therefore, understanding the meaning and benefits of constructive feedback is beneficial for employers and employees.

 

The art of giving constructive feedback is a key life skill that you can develop in no time. Let’s see how!

What is Constructive Feedback?

By its very name, it refers to constructing. So, feedback that aims at bringing the best out of a person by sharing advice, suggestions, or comments in an emotionally intelligent way is known as constructive feedback. The workspace is concerned with the work that a coworker/employee does.

The primary feature of constructive feedback is its ability to reap faster results, change behaviors, work as motivation, give new perspectives and try to identify weaknesses for improvement.

Types of Constructive Feedback:

1. Praise

You praise someone when you find their work exceptional. But that’s not just the only reason, you praise them so that they can keep up with the good work they have been doing. So, positive reinforcement helps in letting the receiver know that their efforts are acknowledged and praised, hence they will realize that the process/technique they have been using is working in their favor. Therefore, ensuring that they use a similar process/technique for future endeavors too.

For example-

I have been observing that you are among the first few to reach early in the morning. I highly appreciate your enthusiasm and the way you have influenced others to follow your lead. Commendable job!

I have seen your report on the latest project, I must say the data and research you backed it up with are exceptional. The client was stunned by the presentation and has signed the next three projects with us because of you. Kudos!

2. Criticism

Here, criticism is not to be understood in a negative light. Instead, providing constructive criticism means that along with highlighting the positive aspects of the performance, you also mention the negatives subtly. After all, to err is human and to work on the errors is where the progress lies. The very meaning of constructive feedback is to help improve the person in whatever way possible. So, highlight errors and mistakes but do it politely.

For example-

I have noticed that you are among the few who have been coming late to the office this week. The morning schedule heavily depends on the presence of all the employees and I would like to see you helping your manager along with others. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you make it early to the office.

Your earlier reports were quite exceptional. However, your performance has suffered in recent weeks. It’s been noted that the last few reports need a couple more research points to make them strong. Let’s schedule a meeting a week from now to check your progress on the same.

How to Give Constructive Feedback – Using TELL Model

The TELL Model is a very good example of creating an environment in which the process of constructive feedback can take place as a real two-way communication process with the ability to discuss the issues in descriptive form along with their solutions.

This model has the following features:

  • TELL them, specifically, about the exact behavior you want to be repeated or is problematic (and therefore, to be corrected). Be objective and beware of taking a position about your observations.
  • EXPLAIN what results or implications are created by their actions either negative or positive. Do not blame or attack 
  • LISTEN to their ideas for correcting the problem. Solicit their “buy-in” and be prepared to negotiate an agreeable solution. 
  • LET them know what positive or negative consequences will occur if the problem is corrected or not. Indicate payoffs, penalties, rewards, or punishments for accepting or rejecting the solutions for change. Avoid threatening or making commitments you can not fulfill”.

Constructive Feedback Examples:

1. Encouraging Insight Sharing

“Name, I appreciate your ability to work independently and maintain focus on your tasks. However, I have noticed you do not speak up much during our team meetings/general discussions/even among colleagues, and I think our company would benefit from gaining your insights. I would like to see you speak up at least once during next Monday’s meeting.”

2. Achieving a Goal (Big or Small)

“We are proud to have you in the company name family. Today, because of your fabulous presentation we have successfully signed a million-dollar project. Your hard work and grit will be rewarded for sure. For now, congratulations, and thank you for this contribution to our team’s objectives.”

3. Checking Rude Behavior

Name, I remember the first day when you joined our company, you were so enthusiastic and amiable. However, over the past couple of weeks, I have noticed a drastic change in your tone and attitude when you talk to other employees. Is there something I can help you with? Know that I am here and you can come to talk to me about anything that is affecting your interpersonal relationships in the office. I hope to see the old cheerful Name, soon”.

4. Encouraging Autonomy During Projects

Name, I highly appreciate how curious you are to know it all and your habit of posing the right questions. However, our company has always supported creativity and individuality. Therefore, I would be happier to see your input without any assistance in the name of the project.”

5. Requesting Punctuality

Name, I have always felt good to see you enter the meetings/conferences before any other employee. I was expecting the same today, I thought you might have gotten stuck somewhere so I tried to push the meeting but after 30 minutes of waiting, we couldn’t connect with you. I hope you are doing fine. The company name is your family and we are always here to have your back. However, kindly inform us if you are unable to attend a meeting so that we can either reschedule it or plan it accordingly. You play a crucial role in the team, so I would like to see you on time in the next meeting.”

Conclusion:

Hence, after reading this article you have got a clear idea that what is constructive feedback and now if someone gives you any advice then you should be able to segregate it accordingly. Also, constructive feedback is a good thing and if someone is providing you with any then you must take it positively and try to correct your mistakes.

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