In every relationship, communication is everything. This is no different when talking about business management and the relationship between managers and employees. Feedback is a genuinely important way that we all evaluate how we’re doing and what we can improve. In a business, it’s necessary to find a balance that creates an open dialogue so that you can effectively share feedback with employees in a way that they listen, understand, and appreciate.

Our ability to give and receive feedback affects our ability to achieve success and lead others. While negative opinions are hard to hear, they are the opinions that often lead to improvement. So, how can you effectively present these opinions in a way that the employee is open to hearing them and using them to grow?

People want to feel validated. You can give a positive feeling and recognition while providing feedback for improvement. Again, as with any relationship, it’s all about communication. Take care with the interactions you have with others. Your approach, your ongoing relationship, and your recognition of their positive traits are all huge factors into the response you’re going to get to your feedback.

Because people are so focused on the positive, it’s essential that you are recognizing strengths when mentioning weaknesses.

Consider these statements:

“This plan needs revision.” vs “You’re really great at strategizing. It’s a skill you really excel at so I know you can perfect this plan with another revision.”

Which scenario would inspire you to take another shot at it with a confident attitude? Challenging employees is just fine –encouraged actually. Corrections are needed, redirections can be essential, and criticism is important. It’s possible though to keep the communication positive even when our message could be construed as negative. This isn’t hand holding. This isn’t sugar coating. If you believe that your employees are valuable enough to keep them employed, then you think they are valuable enough. Validate their efforts and their strengths while adding in the necessary feedback for growth and change.

What happens when we feel valued and we trust the feedback that we are receiving? We are comfortable. We are open. We are given the tools we need to confidently grow and achieve our full potential in an organization. If you want this to be the attitude of the employees you are managing, then you have to take the time as a manager to effectively create an open dialogue where feedback is a positive process. What are your thoughts on giving feedback to employees? What is the importance of an open dialogue? Disagree with our thoughts? Comment below!