How to give constructive feedback

April 01, 2010


We are often put in situations where we have to give people around us some feedback. It might be a co-worker asking for help on a paper, or it could be something you would like to tell a loved one.

But I frequently see people doing it wrong! In the end feedback is supposed to help the person do a better job next time around. I have been using the “sandwich” method for most of my adult life and I’d like to share it with you today!

1. Start with a little positive
People often want to jump right into what they know is wrong. By starting with a positive you set a positive tone for the conversation. Also by forcing yourself to look at what was right you might learn what to do right when you have to do it!

2. Give feedback, but don’t preach
Identify what the person did wrong, but don’t tell them how to do it right. Rather, ask if you can offer a suggestion:

“The introduction to your report didn’t really strike at the heart of what you were trying to say, can I tell you what I might have written?”

3. End with a big positive
What was the most right thing they did? You want to save this for the end and finish on a high note! Praise them for something they did exceptionally well!

Giving feedback is an important part of advancing in your career. The best managers and co-workers are those who make everyone around them better. It’s often difficult to give real feedback without offending someone, thankfully you now know about the sandwich method and I hope it makes your life a little easier! Remember, when you give someone feedback it is just like a mini-presentation! So make your next feedback session into a master piece!

Warm regards,

Aaleem Jiwa


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