KYT Manager Tips

How to give negative feedback to team members


Hi, Claire here, CEO of Know Your Team and today I wanted to share and dive into give negative feedback to team members.

It is uncomfortable to tell someone, especially someone who we respect, or someone who we want to encourage, something that is negative about their behavior, or about the way that that they've been performing.

When we're giving negative feedback, especially as a manager to a direct report, or to a team member the biggest thing to keep in mind is that the number one reason for why someone is going to get defensive, and respond poorly to your negative feedback is if they are misconstruing your intention.

In other words, if someone hears your negative feedback, they are thinking, oh my goodness is my manager out to get me, they don't wanna promote me, they have a grudge against me. Our minds are almost wired to go into this very accusatory zone if we don't understand the intention behind the feedback.

When we're giving feedback, especially as a manager that is negative, we want to really zoom in and come from a place of care. What that means is saying upfront, hey I wanted to share some feedback because I care about your well-being in this team, I care about your performance, I care about your ability and likelihood of getting promoted, I care about the project. You get the point, right?

You wanna come from a place of care and by doing so and reinforcing that care, and that intention you're able to diffuse some of the likelihood of defensiveness. So that's my tip around giving feedback that's negative to team members, I hope that this is helpful.

If you're looking for more resources, and more tools to help you as a manager, be sure to check out Know Your Team and look forward to sharing more of these tips with you in the future.

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