Examples of Constructive Feedback

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Rather than criticizing, instead learn how to give constructive feedback as an incentive for an individual to perform better. Learning examples of constructive feedback will help you avoid hurting someone's feelings.

What is constructive feedback?

Constructive feedback is expressing your opinion in a non-hurtful way. This type of feedback is positive when praise is earned, negative when there's room for improvement, or neutral when an observation is expressed. Constructive feedback is always aimed at making something better without overly criticizing the individual. To be successful, you'll need to acquire tact and diplomacy, which can be learned through courses offered through organizations such as the American Management Association.

How to deliver constructive feedback

While honesty is said to be the best policy, few people appreciate blunt honesty. When asked for your opinion or when delivering feedback, try to soften your words. People's feelings are easily hurt, especially in these types of situations, and your words could have a devastating effect.

Examples of constructive feedback

It's always a little awkward when someone puts you on the spot to ask you for your opinion and urge you to be totally honest.

  • Writers are notorious feedback seekers, only to be hurt if they don't get the praise they expect. If you didn't like the manuscript but you don't want to hurt the writer's feelings, engage in constructive feedback by praising the narrative, but stating that the dialogue could use improvement, or vice versa. Be honest about what you liked and didn't like.
  • Painters have equally fragile feelings when it comes to their creativity. Criticizing is not a good idea as taste in art is subjective. You might not like the painting, but someone else might. If you don't like the image, you can still give constructive feedback by complementing the painter's choice of colors and his or her ability to create light and shadows.
  • Managers in the workplace often need to resolve sensitive issues with employees. If an employee's work is excellent but she's frequently late, praise her performance first before pointing out her tardiness. If the employee delivers excellent work but is often rude to others, be sure to recognize her exemplary performance before pointing out that her people skills need work.

Feedback for children

No matter how tough children appear, they are very sensitive beings. Be sure to recognize their efforts and reward their achievements. If you have to criticize, carefully consider your words. The wrong choice delivered in a harsh tone of voice can damage their confidence and leave them with emotional scars. Lavish them with praise before getting to the part that needs improvement. They need to be sure of your kindness and good intentions if your feedback is to be well received.

Feedback for students

An important part of a teacher's function is to give impartial feedback to their students without favoritism. When a student fails an assignment or isn't performing up to expected standards, a sensitive teacher will first approach the student to find out if there are any problems before discussing the failings in the assignment. By incorporating a balanced approach, the teacher will identify strengths and weaknesses so that the student can learn from the feedback.

Examples of constructive feedback are mere guidelines for teachers, managers, parents and people in general. Since every person is different, each will respond to feedback differently. If you approach this process using a healthy dose of sensitivity, you can't go wrong.

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