Flip the Script on Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is not easy to hear, and it’s not easy to give either. No matter what side of the feedback you’re on, it can be a tricky situation.

As the receiver, we can take the feedback too personally and become upset. And as the giver, we might worry about hurting the other person’s feelings, or being seen as “mean.”

But here’s the issue: getting feedback is critical to your success! If you don’t want to hear it, and your manager is worried about giving it, how will you improve?

So, what do you do if you know that you need feedback to succeed, but you aren’t getting it?

Flip the script!

Approach your manager with what you feel you need to work on and ask him or her for suggestions on how to improve in that area. Then ask if there is anything else he or she feels you need to work on. This opens the door for him or her to speak candidly without the worry of hurting your feelings.

Or, you can approach your manager and tell him or her you want to improve 3 things this quarter and you would like feedback on identifying those things. Take it a step farther and ask him or her to hold you accountable to improving those things. This casts the feedback in a more positive light because it is ultimately helping you improve, and not hurting your feelings.

Sometimes leaders need a bit of help – especially in instances that can be uncomfortable, like providing negative feedback.

Help your manager by flipping the script, and you both can grow.

Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.

About Dale: As our Executive Director of Human Resources, Dale is the powerhouse behind helping our team grow. He graduated from USC-Upstate (but considers himself a Dayton Flyer). He has over twelve years of HR experience in a variety of industries, focused primarily on talent acquisition and organizational development. Dale is passionate about challenging himself, and when he’s not in the office, he’s training for his next big race. Each year he picks a different race to compete in. In the past it has been mostly running events, but this year is all about biking, he just completed a 3 day, 150 mile, 10,000 ft elevation race. Questions? Send Dale an email!


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