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Reblogged:Fostering Positivity in a Work Team

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In a past column, Suzanne Lucas discusses replacing toxic workplace behaviors with positive ones, including a few tips her manager audience could use to retrain themselves, if needed. I especially liked her first two tips, the second of which was to replace criticism with constructive feedback:
advice.jpg
Image by Amy Hirschi, via Unsplash, license.
Feedback helps someone grow, while criticism merely tells them they are wrong. To deliver feedback, don't focus on the person. Instead, look to fix the underlying problem.

For instance, if an employee gave a sloppy presentation, criticism would look something like this: "That was a terrible presentation. You clearly didn't prepare for this." Feedback would look like this: "The slides were incomplete, and you seemed flustered while presenting. Can we talk about what you need to succeed in the future? Jane can help with the slides, and I'm happy to do a run-through with you beforehand."

When you criticize, your employee walks away feeling terrible and loses confidence on the job. Giving constructive feedback tells your employee that you have their back and are willing to help them succeed. [link in original]
This is the corollary of "never tell your boss about a problem without offering at least some thought about a solution." The criticism is much easier to take with the lead to a solution Lucas suggests: In other words it helps the recipient look forward to a gain, rather than focus on a gap.

-- CAV

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