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July 2019
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TD Magazine

Weighing In: July 2019

What advice would you offer to managers on giving negative feedback?

Take emotion out of the conversation. Be clear, concise, and to the point. Don't drag the conversation out, but allow the person an opportunity to be a part of the solution. Reach an agreement on how to move forward, then let it go—don't continue to beat the drum.

—Shannon Tipton, Chicago, Illinois

Build a relationship with your direct reports first. Most effective and meaningful feedback, even difficult, are built around a culture of trust and respect.

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—Maria A. Bellera, Marietta, Georgia

Always be future oriented when giving feedback! People can't change the past. Say, "In the future …" or "Next time when you work with that client …" instead of "You didn't mention …" or "I noticed you did not …." Attach a future action to the desired performance standard or behavior.

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—Scott Pitts, De Soto, Missouri

Know your people. Talk about their performance every day. Ask more of them. If you are truly paying attention to their performance and talking about performance every day, you will be providing constant feedback—both positive and negative. Your leadership must be great at reinforcing the positive behaviors and correcting the misses. Your tribe wants to do a great job, and with continuous consequences for behavior, their performance and your culture will improve dramatically.

—Daniel Harf, Orlando, Florida

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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