3 strategies to give better feedback

Giving criticism in a way that is constructive can be difficult. But providing tough feedback to employees is a requirement of leading an organization, and it will help your employees develop and grow. Remember, mistakes aren’t necessarily bad – but it’s not learning from them that causes problems.

Executive coach Hanna Hart offers three strategies to better phrase criticism to ensure you’re communicating effectively without turning the conversation negative.

  1. Convert complaints into a request, recommendation or suggestion. Hart notes that most complaints stem from a desire to do something better. By putting a positive spin on a complaint, you’ll likely get better responses and develop a thoughtful solution.
  2. Phrase critiques as questions. “Criticism basically tells the other person that he or she is wrong,” Hart writes. Instead of phrasing feedback in a way that feels like an attack, ask questions to understand their thought process. Doing this will elicit more details and could clarify something you had initially misinterpreted.


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