Communicating with people can be a tricky task, especially if it involves telling them something unpleasant. However, it’s a necessary life skill to effectively tell people your thoughts and feedback.
Most people want feedback about their performance, they want to feel noticed and their efforts have been worthwhile. These discussions can be quite daunting especially when there’s room for improvement. By being mindful of our delivery, we can be productive with our meetings without the noise of being emotive and ambiguous.
Make it specific
When we are specific about issues or our feedback, it can avoid people taking it personally. Instead of framing it as a general behavioural or personality issue, we can be practical about addressing it. Let them know what was the issue, when it happened and how we can move forward.
Be prompt and don’t dwell
Being prompt in your response to situations will allow better re-call of events from the other person. It will allow for an easier exchange and they are less likely to feel blind-sided. Don’t dwell on past events, this may make the person defensive and your message will be lost.
By being consistent in your behaviour, people are able to set their expectations accordingly. They will be aware of standards and have the opportunity to prepare themselves for your thoughts.
Sometimes things just don’t work out. Be fair in your assessment, don’t blame people for things that were out of control. Give equal weighting to positive and negative aspects to make them feel appreciated and motivated. You would want people to feel like you’re investing in them, rather than persecuting them.
People are our biggest resource, let’s make sure they feel that way.