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Being a virtuous boss does not have anything to do with giving constructive criticism to your team. But no matter what industry you work in or what your job title is, most people perceive it challenging to provide negative feedback to the people that they work with.

Meredith is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more

Meredith Wood

Editor-in-Chief, Fundera

Though this is a commonly held sentiment, it’s crucial to keep in mind that If you want to grow at work, it’s essential that you frequently engage in honest feedback discussions with both your manager and your direct reports. No matter what your job title is, getting honest, productive feedback is a critical factor in learning ways you can improve and mastering new skills. By making it a priority to check in often with your team, you are making a commitment to their personal growth and your own.

While feedback conversations are essential to employee success, they can be challenging if you aren’t prepared for the discussion. This is especially valid when the conversation is negative, or you have to give feedback that might be hard to hear. Providing tough insight is sometimes inevitable and it’s best to make sure that when these kinds of situations arise you are as prepared as possible.

Though critical feedback can be necessary, it appears challenging to offer your thoughts in a way that doesn’t upset the other person or make them feel like they are being attacked. Even if you don’t mean being hurtful, it can be problematic for people to hear a critique of their work performance. Even when you are coming from a well-meaning place, it’s best to be aware that negative conversations about work can come across as a personal attack.

To make sure that negative feedback conversations go smoothly, it’s most efficient to take time to prepare. Constructive criticism is the best driver for employee development.

First off, ask yourself the reason that you are offering the feedback. If it’s because you want to help someone improve, facilitate a change, or start a further discussion, proceed with the conversation. If your reason for a critique is to boost your ego, vent frustration, or hurt someone, you should steer clear of the dialogue and evaluate why you feel this way.

Though providing criticism can be difficult, it’s essential that both employees and managers do not shy away from these conversations! Companies that prioritize frequent feedback, even when it means engaging in discussions that are tough, typically have greater employee engagement and a lower turnover rate. 

Individuals working at these companies are also more likely to have a clear picture of their performance, which will likely assist them to advance up the ladder more quickly. To bring in more comfortable giving constructive feedback, it’s essential that you practice and prepare. Learning tips for giving helpful criticism can also help make you feel less intimidated by these conversations.

If you struggle with giving constructive criticism, have no fear! Fundera created this awesome infographic that will help increase your confidence when it’s time to provide criticism. This fun visual offers nine helpful tips for providing negative feedback at work in a way that is constructive. Check it out to learn how to give criticism in a way that’s firm yet productive. These tips are guaranteed to assist you to be the most competent manager and leader possible. Share your thoughts below, have you been challenged in the past with constructive criticism, use the commenting section below.


9 No-Fail Tips for Giving Constructive Criticism at Work

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