The Worst Way to Give Feedback to Anyone

As we go about our daily lives, sometimes it is necessary to give feedback to people we interact with. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines feedback as the transmission of evaluative or corrective information about an action, event, or process to the original or controlling source.

In our interpersonal interactions with people daily we observe and make judgements and by human nature, we are more inclined to criticize and condemn than to understand and acquit.

one star review - feedback

I was recently interacting with a close friend and in the process of trying to give me feedback, the person went about it in a critical way, and succeeded in achieving the opposite effect. It takes a grown-up person to accept feedback and grow from it, but it takes a caring and loving person to give the kind of feedback that inspires and motivate the other person to learn and grow.

Criticism is the worst way to give feedback to anyone. Praise is the best way to give feedback to everyone. Find what is commendable, and expand so much on it that it urges the person to do more of what has been done well, and less of what was not acknowledged. I am not advocating for ignoring what is not being done well. Use the pareto principle: “80 % of our results come from 20% of our efforts.” In this case, mention what was not done well or what could be improved at about 20% of your total time, and spend the rest 80% of the time to praise and encourage the person on whatever positive (regardless of how minuscule) observations you could make.

Next time you are to give feedback, critique or condemn someone, hold you tongue and reflect on the most impactful way to do it. Praise always goes further than criticism.