How to offer negative feedback in a helpful way
Damon is clinically excellent and well-liked by his colleagues. However, he has a weakness: He can be too passive and won’t speak up even if a colleague makes a mistake. Damon doesn’t like to hurt anyone’s feelings, so he’ll just pick up the slack or fix an issue himself without saying anything. Damon was recently asked to be a preceptor. However, to be successful in this role, he will be required not only to stand up for himself, but also to give negative feedback at times. How can he learn this important skill?
Standing in judgment of someone else can be so uncomfortable that even highly experienced professionals avoid it like the plague. We shy away from delivering negative feedback because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings and we’re afraid of how they will react.
Instead, we do what’s comfortable: We don’t say anything. Worse, we sometimes turn passive-aggressive. Instead of confronting the offenders, we gossip or complain about them behind their backs.
When we are unable to effectively give (and receive) constructive criticism, we not only limit our personal growth, but we reduce the overall strength of the team.
The truth is, we all need to know where we stand, even if the guidance is painful. According to research conducted by Officevibe, a team management company: