So a meeting has taken place and your friend or colleague has said or done something that you really think you should give them feedback on, but how to do it without upsetting them?
To give feedback here is a tactic I’ve learned:
- State one thing you think they’ve done well
- And state one area you’d like to see them improve
So for example:
Mary, thanks for presenting during this meeting. One thing I think you did really well is present some really deep analysis based on really strong research, an area I think you could improve is the pacing of your presentation. I felt like I didn’t have time to fully digest everything, so maybe next time make fewer points but spend more time discussing each?
And thats it. I find that typically people are much more willing to accept the medicine when served with sugar.
When it comes to receiving feedback, especially critical- its even easier. You should always have this one response ready to go:
Thank you for the feedback.
You’re not obligated to agree, you’re not being defensive and hopefully you’ve truly heard and understand their points. If not you can ask a clarifying question- “was there a specific point you felt rushed on, or was it the overall presentation” and again always close with “Thank you for the feedback”
Note: this works best when everyone on the team knows how to give and receive critical feedback so managers you should try and share these insights with your team.