Whether it’s your first entrepreneurship venture or role of a long-time exec, dishing out your opinions and feedbacks to a colleague is never buttery smooth. Remember it like an experience of visiting your dentist. Painful yet necessary, before it spoils the functioning of the rest. 

Negative feedback is rightly dreaded by all; those who dish it out and those who are at the receiving end of it. However, it can have a positive effect and impact the work ambience, while bridging the gap between the Managers and the workforce. Employees that receive regular feedback are more engaged at work with a determination to do better than their co-workers who aren’t getting any flak and henceforth become complacent. 

It is paramount that at the end of the day, constructive feedback enriches the experiences and enhances the goals for the companies to grow. Don’t hide from uncomfortable feedback conversations, instead turn them into productive discussions. Ensure to talk about the strength and weaknesses while giving a feedback. Strike a perfect balance by complimenting the colleague for the positives before moving towards the difficult message of criticism. Let it be a healthy criticism rather than destroying the morale of the person in question. While some employees appreciate this approach, at times direct feedback without fluff or sugar coating might actually work. Be sure to follow some easy breezy tips.


Instant feedback

It is very difficult to give a negative feedback to your colleagues and may cause lots of discomfort to you. But do not put off the moment to avoid any confrontations. Also don’t put it off for quarterly review. There is nothing like a perfect moment. It must be addressed immediately without faltering or postponing the matter at hand. The emotions must be controlled and not aggravated when you are giving the feedback.

Not personal

The negative feedback should never be personal. Make sure the feedback is about the behaviour and the consequences — not about the person. If you want to make feedback productive instead of counter-productive, don’t point fingers but focus on the outcome.

Make negative sound positive

Be a guiding force, a mentor to your colleagues. Don’t be critical or sermonising in your approach. Be constructive and fruitful as you share the feedback. Have a positive dialogue and be analytical and yet empathic. It goes a long way if the message is sent in clear terms but on an optimistic note. 

Customizing feedback 

It’s important to mould the conversation to the other person’s style when giving negative feedback. While giving feedback, customize as per the personality of the colleague, since it isn’t one-size-fits-all feedback. Some may need a direct approach, whereas others need a more circumspect manner.  

Mutual feedback

For the company to grow, it is important to give employees honest and constructive feedback. But there should be a feedback from the employees’ perspective too. Real growth can happen when the company gets feedback from its employees. 

Maybe your team uses an anonymous feedback tool, or you have weekly one-on-ones with your reports, or maybe you just let them know that they can grab you at any time they want to talk. 

IT IS ALWAYS EASIER TO SHARE POSITIVE FEEDBACK. THE CHALLENGE IS IN GIVING THE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK. To improve team’s performance, you have to rip off the band-aid and provide negative feedback from time to time.


Finally, it is all about being constructive to bring about positive changes in the organization. Letting people know where they are and where to go next in terms of expectations and goals – yours, their own, and the organizations is important. 

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