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Constructive feedback is essential for progress, but giving it is not always so easy; some people are highly sensitive to any criticism, so how to get your meaning across in a positive way? Read on!

What do people mean by 'constructive feedback'?

Feedback is feedback, some may say; but there is constructive or positive feedback to help the person receiving it to improve, and destructive or negative feedback, which is not helpful to the receiver, as it puts them down. When you remember that the word 'criticism' is a synonym for 'feedback', it is easier to see how easy it is to view it negatively.

How to approach written feedback?

Constructive feedback aims to:

  • work out what can be improved and how
  • make the person on the receiving end of the feedback feel that, although they have done well/their best, they can still achieve more

Your feedback needs to be:

  • accurate/factual
  • impersonal
  • timely (don't wait weeks)

You could start with:

  • Your report was very well structured and the Board greatly appreciated your succinct yet comprehensive executive summary.

Then go on to the feedback portion:

  • I think, however, that this would be a good time to see if our IT department can assist with the graphics for your statistics. I'll get Cleo in IT to give you a call, so that she can explain what they can offer.

Then finally:

  • By the way, great idea to include the financial breakdowns in your report - the Board found that information most helpful.

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