How to give critical feedback at work

    Business Spotlight 6/2016
    Situation am Arbeitsplatz: Feedback
    © SrdjanPav/
    Von Margaret Davis

    Expressing your opinion at work — especially if it’s critical — can be trickyschwierig, heikeltricky. And if the comment is directed at your boss, it could have a negative effect on your career. US consultantBerater(in)consultants Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, authors of Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success, say there are ways to avoid “suicide by feedback”.

    Show respect

    If you need to make a critical comment about a project, say it to your boss in private, not in public, Maxfield told This is especially important if your boss’s superiorVorgesetzte(r)superiors are present, for example at a project meeting. “We call it ‘to salute the flagvor der Flagge salutieren; hier auch: Respekt zeigensalute the flag’. Show respect for person, role and point of view. It reminds the other person that you serve under the same flag. If you salute before giving feedback, you’ll be seen as a friend,” Maxfield adds.

    If you need to make a critical comment about a project, say it to your boss in private, not in public

    Apologize generously

    Don’t to be stingy about etw. knausernbe stingy about saying you’re sorry if one of your remarks goes terribly wrong. “The Verbandbandagebandage has to be bigger than the wound you caused,” Maxfield comments. “The way you make the bandage bigger is through self-sacrifice — sacrifice your time, ego, money and other priorities. If you to screw up (ifml.)Mist bauenscrew up in public, apologize in public.”

    If you’re the targetZieltarget — don’t ducksich ducken, ausweichenduck

    It’s natural to be angry and resentfulverärgert, nachtragendresentful when criticized, but to stop to thinkhier: innehalten, in sich gehenstop to think before you to reject sth.etw. zurückweisenreject critical feedback from a manager or colleague. “Too often we stay silent but to condemn sb.jmdn. verurteilencondemn them,” Maxfield to point sth. outauf etw. hinweisenpoints out. “Instead, have a frankaufrichtig, offenfrank, honest confrontation,” he advises.

    Don’t ignore critical comments

    Everyone makes mistakes at work from time to time — including you. So don’t be afraid to ask other people for more information, and don’t miss an opportunity to put things right as soon as possible. “The common mistake is to ignore the feedback and hope it goes away,” Maxfield says. “Silence is not golden; silence is agreement. When you don’t say anything, it’s like you agree with what the person said.”

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