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The right way to handle feedback

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Feedback is crucial in the workplace. The problem is that giving feedback can put you or your work position in jeopardy, depending on how it’s perceived by your co-workers or boss. Stephanie Vozza, writing at Fast Company, suggests ways to give constructive feedback without hurting your relationships or opportunities at work.

Establish your intent. Even if your feedback is necessary, it needs to come at the right time and with the right tone to make your intent clear. For example, if you give your feedback in public, you are more likely to be seen as having a malicious intent, like you are purposely trying to make someone look bad. If you speak with someone in private, your intent seems more genuine and positive.

Do quick damage control. When your feedback isn’t received the way you intended, you must self-sacrifice for the sake of damage control. An apology is necessary, and it should be bigger than the actual feedback comment. Sacrifice your time and ego to fix what you said and change others’ new opinions of you.

How to handle unwelcome feedback. Don’t let unwelcome feedback affect your workplace relationships or aspirations. There is a responsibility to address feedback when it is offered to you. If you don’t like what was said, have an honest conversation with the critiquers instead of staying silent. This will help you determine whether their intent was meant to be helpful or they really were trying to make underhanded, malicious comments.

— Adapted from “How to Give Feedback at Work that Doesn’t Jeopardize Your Career,” Stephanie Vozza, Fast Company.

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