Updated: May 24
As a leader, rendering feedback to your team is of the essence. Giving feedback does not have to be painful, however, it should be presented in a nurturing way leaving room for growth. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to criticize is to talk about the problems or faults of (someone or something), while feedback is helpful information or criticism given to someone to say what can be done to improve a performance, product, etc. Side by side, it is evident there is a difference. So, should a leader criticize since there is no goal to improve? There is a time and place for everything, including criticism. However, when the goal is to develop your team and cultivate a nurturing work environment, the word of choice is feedback or Constructive feedback (which is truth, wrapped in love for the expressed purpose of illuminating the team).
CPR offers suggestions for a Moral leader rendering feedback, not criticism.
1. Wrap encouragement with your critique.
Feedback served with a hot dose of encouragement is preferred. First, state the positive, then the feedback. That also includes displaying that you care before you offer a critique.
2. Be thoughtful.
Consider what you should say before you say it
3. Be clear
When you give critique, be as straightforward as possible. Be specific and give a real example that just occurred. Don’t bring up history.
4. Timely feedback
As a leader, render feedback in real-time as soon as possible. However, do not bring up past mistakes.
5. Be gentle & patient
Wrap your words of correction with gentleness and remember Rome was not built in a day
Referencing #2 and being thoughtful means being prepared to make your statement about the rationale for the feedback. Is it your organization's monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual review, or are you addressing an egregious error?
7. Time and Location matter
Set up a time and place for your one-on-one. This is not a public event. Feedback should be private rather than public (positive or negative). It's a confidential assessment. Positive feedback is not praise. Public praise for a job well done is terrific; feedback is about development.
8-Non-verbal communication matters
Be sure your non-verbal communication lines up with verbal communication. Be consistent.
Next week, CPR will explore the other arm of feedback- effectively receiving feedback, not criticism.