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In business, there will inevitably come a time when it’s necessary to give colleagues feedback. People often have a negative association with receiving feedback because it can be used in a harmful way. Here are five steps to ensure that any feedback given will be beneficial and effective.

Ensure Comfort

People who feel uncomfortable will sometimes be unable to apply the knowledge they were given. Be calm, civil, and truthful with any feedback presented. This will go a long way in making sure it sticks.

Be Positive

A balance between positive and negative feedback is critical. Negative feedback will illuminate the changes that are needed. Positive feedback will give the drive and motivation to make the changes. Presenting suggestions for solutions or preferred outcomes is also helpful when giving feedback.

Be Specific

When giving a colleague feedback, be specific in your presentation. Be prepared to provide them with detailed ways they can achieve the goals you are working toward. Do not be ambiguous, as the feedback will be unable to be correctly applied without direction.

Don’t Delay

When a colleague makes an error or something needs to change, immediate feedback is preferred. The sooner issues are corrected, the better. The feedback recipient should be guided immediately instead of months later. Delay will only cause confusion and frustration on both sides. When people understand what they need to change, they are often happy to oblige.

Don’t Resort To Rudeness

If mistakes are happening, avoid speaking from a place of anger or frustration. Try to understand the feedback recipient‘s perspective and work together to create positive communication and changes. Do not yell or call names. Very clearly inform the colleague about the objective you want to achieve. 

Ensure that you are both on the same page and understand the goals and instructions you have given. Take this time to tap into compassion and be available for guidance and encouragement if needed. Feedback may sometimes need to be tough, but it should come from a place of care. Being mean-spirited and hurting others will not work to get goals accomplished faster or better. Respond, don’t react.