How To Give Good Feedback : Life Kit Massella Dukuly understands that the simple act of giving somebody feedback can be terrifying. But her job as director of learning and development at LifeLabs Learning is to teach people how to give good feedback.

In this episode, Dukuly shares five things to keep in mind as you're giving feedback to another person.

5 Tips To Help You Give Good Feedback

5 Tips To Help You Give Good Feedback

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There are things that make your life better at work that are easy: bringing in donuts, summer Fridays or laughing with your colleagues about the latest reality TV scandal. And then there are things that make your life better at work that feel so difficult and a lot of folks struggle with: like giving feedback. Even though the end result might mean your coworker understands how to communicate with you more clearly or that your direct report can meet their deadlines more regularly, the simple act of giving somebody feedback can be terrifying.

Massella Dukuly gets it. She's the director of learning and development at LifeLabs Learning, where she teaches people how to give better feedback.

"People go into that fight-flight freeze mode because they feel like they need to protect themselves," she says.

Here are some tips Dukuly recommends for ways to give better feedback at work:

A gif of different tips for giving feedback shown around the office

Before you give your feedback, make sure that you are questioning your biases.

Giving feedback that's rooted in ableism, sexism, or racism isn't feedback! "You can be a well-meaning, good human being and still be biased," Dukuly says. "We are all biased. And what we have to be cognizant of is, am I then projecting my bias onto other people?"

Feedback should be a dialogue.

Make sure that when you give feedback, that the other person has space to respond. Also, consider how power dynamics might affect the conversation. Dukuly recommends starting the conversation with what she calls a "micro yes" or consent from the other person so that they feel like they are opting into receiving the feedback.

Make sure you understand the why.

Dukuly recommends sharing an impact statement so that the person you're giving feedback to can understand the impact of what you're trying to say. Here's one example if, say, someone was late to a meeting. The impact statement might be: Because you were late to the meeting, we lost the conference room we had booked and we weren't able to finish our discussion.

Make sure your feedback is specific and direct.

Provide data that is objective and includes examples. Avoid vague language or generalizations and stay small. Instead of "you seem distracted at work" say "it's important to me that you respond to messages within a few minutes during work hours."

It's worth it, even though it's hard.

When you give high-quality feedback, ultimately both parties will be able to grow and learn from the experience. It's OK to feel uncomfortable!


The podcast portion of this story was produced by Audrey Nguyen.

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