Giving constructive feedback is an art. One would need to balance the giving of positive information as well as negative information and turn its combination into an effective and productive message. Not everyone can naturally communicate this way, but don’t worry because things like this can be learned. And when you’re able to give constructive feedback, you not only develop a better working relationship with others, you’ll receive better quality in terms of materials in return. When you learn how to do this, it will definitely benefit your business in the long run.
So how do you give constructive feedback and what exactly do we mean by constructive feedback?
The word “constructive” is the key terminology here. It means that it has the capacity to produce beneficial results. You can actually keep giving feedback and still not get any results from it if the feedback does not really help the person concerned make a positive change.
Here are two examples of feedback that is not constructive:
- “I don’t really like this”
- “You did a good job.”
Neither one of those above-sentences tell the person any helpful information on how they can improve their work or skill set.
The First Step
The first thing to do when giving constructive feedback is to review the material based on what you requested. Then compare your request to what you received. In the event that you did not get what you requested, ask yourself: “Where did they fall short? What’s missing? What does not match your initial request?”
Next, review the materials with a critical eye. In what area did they do well? What are their areas for improvement? List down both the good, and the bad. You now have the tools for feedback.
The Sandwich Approach
The sandwich approach to feedback is where you essentially sandwich negative feedback or criticism between positive feedback. Here’s what it looks like:
“I really like what you did here.
It did not work well for me when I did it, but perhaps next time you can do this…
I also believe that you did a great job on this part… thank you so much for your hard work.”
The middle part not only contained the criticism, but it also offered a recommendation or suggestion about what could be done to improve next time. That is what constructive feedback is. It is not just criticism or pointing out mistakes, but most importantly, it also provides ways and means for improvement.
Once you learn to give this kind of feedback to your virtual assistant, they will become very responsive, and the quality of their work will improve fast. This strategy develops a powerful relationship between you and your team members. Last but not the least, it will greatly help you grow your business and scale it to the next level.