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How to give constructive feedback in English

Being human beings, it is only natural for us to look for feedback from our bosses when we give a talk or present ideas so that we can make them better for next time but it is important for us to remember that our colleagues also look for feedback from us too. In today’s post we are therefore going to focus on ways of giving constructive criticism to our colleagues in English.

What is the best way to approach giving constructive feedback?

One thing that is a must when giving constructive criticism to your colleagues or people who work for you is remaining positive. Remaining positive is of utmost importance so as not to dishearten your colleagues but instead encourage them to make their ideas even better without upsetting them.

Examples:

I really like your idea and I think it could be even better if you added this…

Your practice presentation was near perfect and I think would be absolutely perfect if you had more self-confidence when you do it for real at the meeting next Monday

I love your idea about expanding our business and I think it could really work. I feel that when you present your idea to the CEO that you should expand further o our target markets to fully gain his support of your plan.

As we can see from these examples there are no negatives but all verbs are in positive and at the beginning there is full support of the idea. This is necessary to maintain the colleagues self-esteem and pride in their work before suggesting something that could make a good job an even better job.

What should not be done when giving constructive criticism?

We sometimes think that things we shouldn’t say would be obvious but unfortunately it isn’t absolutely obvious for everyone. It is paramount that we don’t destroy a colleague’s idea or run them into the ground as this can completely lose any confidence or belief in the project that they may have had. In addition to destroying someone’s idea, one thing that must not be done when giving feedback is a general explanation without saying which direction they should take the project in as this is NOT constructive in any way.

Examples:

I don’t like it

I think you need to scrap it and start it again

Use your head the next time you have to give feedback…

It may seem beyond obvious to use common sense but many people can really forget when giving constructive criticism and let their mouth get the better of them but don’t let that happen to you. If you are in that position next time, just imagine how you would feel if it were you on the receiving end of the criticism. Remember to always provide not necessarily a solution but a way to improve your colleague’s already good ideas and things will go well.

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2 comments

  1. It was a beautiful and instructive writing. Thank you..

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