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Submitted by steveaz26 on


What suggestions are there on providing feedback on behaviors that happened within a couple of days but relate to 2 or more different situations that have a mix of negative and affirmative behavior.

I have a situation where I'd like to give feedback to someone for 2 things that happened, one good and one not so good. The 2 situations are completely different. One for a very good performance on executing a critical process. The other for not being punctual. After my employee agrees to a time that's convenient, I'm assuming I should do both together. I'm thinking of going with giving the negative feedback 1st and the positive feedback last. This ends the conversation on a positive note and the positive behavior was of a much larger magnitude than the negative. Any thoughts?


Mark's picture
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Please clarify this by being more specific.

It sounds to me like these are two completely different situations. I don't see any need to conflate them in any way, nor to give this feedback in any order. This is no big deal, and I think you're making it into more than it needs to be.

Feedback is like breathing.

steveaz26's picture
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You're right, I over complicated it. I gave the feedback late Fri. Went well. Spent most time on the positive. Asked for a little bit of adjusting behavior which was easily agreed to. I was just a little concerned about overshadowing positive feedback with negative on a much smaller issue during the course of one feedback session. I obviously need to practice my breathing!

Mark's picture
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Well done you (2).


cbarclay's picture

I have a similar question. What is the best way to give feedback on small issues that might happen once a day to a member of my team? That is, each of my team of 8 might need feedback on small issues a couple times a week. We recently had one employee "blow up" over what we thought was a very small issue, and I'm wondering if there is a more tactful way to give feedback.

The background to the above question is... My brother and I own 2 retail stores with 8 salespeople each. We're half the age of 90% of our employees. I think that our staff sometimes gets defensive receiving feedback from someone half their age over what they might see as meaningless issues. The issues could be as simple as not getting a signature on a credit card receipt, giving incorrect change, or not completing all of the fields on our internal forms.

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.


juliahhavener's picture
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Those are really the perfect types of things to practice giving feedback on. It's very difficult for an employee to be defensive over something you aren't making a big deal about. Practice breathing feedback. Make sure you're breathing in AND out (I think IN is adjusting feedback, I want them to internalize and I *don't* want to hold my breath, and OUT is affirming feedback (I want to get the word OUT to them that they're doing well).

Personal viewpoint.


steveaz26's picture
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My 2 cents:
1) Help them understand WHY you're requesting the behavior adjustment and the impact it has on the business. Sounds like most of it is quality related. Maybe providing an example of a consequence experienced by you or another business for an item you're requesting feedback on.

2) Add some self effacing humor (I do this and it seems to lighten the situation but gets the results). Something like "I know I'm really picky on this so please bear with me but could you please ..." I'm very specific about what is stated in presentations. My team typically helps put together management summaries for me to then present. They were all surprised by how much I 'edit' their work. At one time, one of them sent me something to review and said "Here it is, ready for you to rip apart and give back to me." I thought it was hilarious and we had a good laugh. Now the typical expectation is that everything provided gets some form of editing. I often thank them and tell them that it's good but just needs a couple minor adjustments, then provide it back sufficiently marked up.

Mark's picture
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"What is the best way to give feedback on small issues that might happen once a day to a member of my team?"

I'm missing the crux of this question, I guess. This is exactly what the feedback model is for. It's for talking about stuff when it's small, and creating a culture of "hey, one time is no big deal, and let's not get a hundred of these lined up before we have to a different kind of conversation."
[i]The best way to give feedback on small issues that might happen once a day[/i] is to deliver some relaxed, comfortable, pleasant sounding, no big deal tone feedback following the model exactly.[/b]