How do I get my Staff Member to Hear Feedback Non-defensively? How do I get my Staff Member to take Constructive Criticism?

Assess the Effectiveness of your Feedback

What is Feedback?

Feedback is a management tool that is used to let the employee know how they are performing. It is a communication to another person of how you see the actions of that person and how they affect you.

"People perform best when they know how they are doing."

What is Effective Feedback?

Feedback is only effective when the employee is left feeling enthusiastic, confident, and planning to improve him/herself even more. To be effective, feedback should be given as soon after the event as is possible.

Effective feedback:

Feedback is most appreciated when it is asked for.

What are Healthy Responses to Feedback?

What are the Typical Negative Reactions to Feedback?

Many highly intelligent motivated professionals let their habitual emotional reactions get in the way of learning. Even some of us who say we relish constructive criticism can have strong emotional reactions when we receive negative feedback about our attitudes and behaviour. In some situations we may fail to recognise the value, truth, and worth of feedback and therefore respond negatively to positive and negative feedback. It is easy to become defensive and shut out what others have to tell us. The following behaviours may indicate that a person is having difficulty "hearing" your feedback:

How can I Support my Staff Member to Receive Feedback Positively?

Remember, you cannot change another person. Your function is to provide the other person with information, on the basis of which they may either be motivated to continue their positive behaviour or consider changes themselves.

Set the Scene

Remember, people feel vulnerable when confronted by personal flaws or shortcomings and, in that state, are unable to take a constructive approach to identifying the solutions that will make them more successful and satisfied. This may be especially true if the input or feedback they receive is surprising to them and they are taken aback. Take them aside and in private, take the time to give background, gradually prepare them for any negative feedback.

Act as a Facilitator or Coach

Relate to the person as a partner in their development process. Be aware of their personal objectives and their general goals, and be aware of their progress towards these goals. Never give feedback on things over which the person has no control!

Give more Positive than Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is difficult to "hear". Alone, it is useless - it has to be balanced either with positive feedback or with constructive recommendations. With negative feedback, people work harder because they HAVE TO (to try and avoid the criticism). However, with positive feedback, people work harder because they WANT TO, and most will do much more!

Follow the Principles of Effective Feedback

You will help your staff member to "hear" your feedback if you follow the following principles:

Following these principles will help the other person to listen to what you say, without having to judge whether you are right or wrong and getting into an antagonistic mood.

Get in Touch with Jump

If you need help, or you answered no or unsure to any of the questions in the assessment tool, then Jump Business Solutions can help you. Phone us on +64 6 754 8987 or +64 27 450 5271 or email and Jump will come to you, discover your needs, and develop a solution that will create real, long-term and positive change for you and your business.