Giving productive feedback is one of the most valuable skills a business owner or manager can possess. It provides your new and existing staff with essential observers' insight into how they are progressing. However, if executed poorly, it can rebound on the employee and create apprehension and unease. As a result, they can feel belittled and insignificant to the bigger picture and, consequently, less motivated.

To avoid this, follow these five steps:


During a study at Columbia University New York, they discovered that only about 30% of feedback is taken on board by the person who receives it. So how you present your feedback is almost as important as the feedback itself. The more the person understands and becomes aware, the greater the chance of change.

Don't use a disrespectful or intellectual tone or language to avoid making the employee feel idiotic. Instead, make what you are saying to them clearly and straightforward.


Providing feedback isn't just clarifying the things that people are doing wrong. It is also vital to highlight what they do great at as well. For example, if you start by expressing positive feedback, this will trigger and ignite certain areas in the brain, which will make that person more open and accepting of a new way of thinking (i.e. changing what they are doing wrong). Then finish with some more positive things or reinforce what you stated could be improved upon before to boost your employees' confidence back up.

"People have a habit of becoming what you encourage, not what you nag them to be" – Scudder N. Parker.


When conveying the negative aspects of their work, always provide them with a solution to the problem you have just put forth or aid them in finding the solution themselves.

By giving them or helping them find the answer, the person in question won't feel singled out or embarrassed.


There is no point in waiting to provide feedback. If someone did something three months ago, what good will it do if you only recognise it now? Will anyone care? Adult brains learn best in action. So don't be afraid to give straight feedback as they complete a task.


Creating the balance of being firm but friendly is difficult initially but a great tool to have in your pocket. Make sure you and the person understand what you expect from them without being rude or demanding.


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