BlogCommunication SkillsWhat is Constructive Feedback? How to Give (and Accept!)

What is Constructive Feedback? How to Give (and Accept!)

constructive feedback

A feedback culture within any corporation is never a downhill spiral. Nearly everyone in life has received something back from feedback. This article provides you with a filter to pull helpful ones from the diverse feedback. Not only did this help to improve the productivity of each employee and the communication barrier in the team. The most important aspect of the employer-employee relationship is feedback culture which seems to thrive in any organization throughout the world. Generally speaking, we cannot assess the quality of one’s feedback, but this article will help filter the helpful ones from that list.

A feedback culture within any corporation is never a downhill spiral. Constructive feedback, given and accepted by both the employee and employer, fosters clear communication for everyone involved in the process. Constructive feedback provides an opportunity to improve someone’s performance gradually, which often results in increased productivity of each individual and enhanced communication across all team members. Constructive feedback is an essential aspect of the employer-employee relationship and seems to thrive in any organization throughout the world.

We cannot assess a person’s quality based on their feedback, but there are ways to filter constructive feedback from that list that you might otherwise overlook or dismiss if left unchecked. This article will give examples and best practices for providing constructive feedback and the importance of accepting it.

What is Constructive Feedback?

Constructive feedback given by an employee or employer fosters clear communication in any organization. This article will provide examples on how to understand what this entails and a list of some critical points to keep in mind. Constructive feedback is an essential aspect of the employer-employee relationship and seems to thrive no matter what type of company it exists within.

Constructive feedback can be tricky because there are many different ways that people give constructive feedback, not all of which would be received well by the other person receiving it. This article will provide you some guidelines on how to avoid these common mistakes and provide a checklist for what constructive feedback should be. Constructive feedback can help improve someone’s performance gradually, which usually results in increased productivity of each individual and enhanced communication across all team members where this person works.

Positive feedback

Positive feedback is a method of evaluation that focuses on what employees are doing correctly and how they should continue to do those things. On the other hand, negative feedback focuses more on where employee mistakes were made or ways in which their performance can be improved.

Positive feedback is always better than negative and should be given before giving criticism. Criticism should only be offered when the person has done something that is not acceptable.

Negative feedback 

Negative feedback exists in all sorts of places—in systems, processes, and mechanisms. Negative feedback is always an attempt to reduce deviations from a desired state or value.

What Is a Negative Feedback Loop?

A negative feedback loop is a feeling that causes the function of a system to decrease. A few examples of negative feedback loops are homeostasis and equilibrium, both found in biology or mechanics.

Destructive feedback

A feedback tool that can be more or less used to hurt people’s feelings. Managers who share constructive feedback with employees will usually take the time to tell them what is famous about their work and where they worked wrong, but also provide evidence to support their assessments. Employees exit such conversations feeling challenged without knowing what they have done right or what they need to do better. Constructive feedback should not come across as demoralizing but rather an opportunity for continual improvement and refinement of one’s skillset.

Read also: Why is feedback needed?

What is a performance review?

Performance reviews are detailed assessments of an employee’s work performance. The review includes identifying strengths, offering feedback, and setting goals for future performance. Celebrate success in the workplace with a group discussion on how to deliver constructive feedback in the office.

Performance reviews are a way for employees to understand how their work aligns with goals and expectations. Managers who use them well can more easily identify employees who are consistently doing excellent work and determine what future goals should be set. Performance reviews also help managers provide feedback, which can develop employee engagement.

Read also: A Group Discussion in Communication: Five Strategies to Make It Better.

What is the distinction between feedback and performance review?

Constructive feedback is a concept that is significantly different from performance evaluations. At a high level, when we consider feedback, we are referring to lighter and more frequent constructive feedback. This differs from performance reviews which tend to be formal and weightier in nature. Productive feedback assists in an employee’s growth by discussing what is working and where there are opportunities for improvement. On the other hand, performance evaluations provide a more formal assessment that may be used to make decisions about compensation or future employment.

Negative Feedback vs. Constructive Feedback 

Constructive feedback differs from negative feedback because it focuses on what someone does well versus what they do wrong. Constructive feedback is also likely to be accepted and not viewed as criticism because it offers positive reinforcement, guidance for improvement, direction on developing competencies, and a sense of security in one’s work. Constructive feedback also helps teams achieve goals by allowing them to connect over strengths rather than weaknesses or mistakes. Constructive feedback is the basis of a positive culture and can be used positively or negatively.

Why Giving Constructive Feedback is so Important?

Why is feedback needed in interpersonal communication

Effective feedback has been shown to improve individual and team performance.

When someone understands what behavior is good and evil, they can make adjustments accordingly. It’s often assumed that criticism motivates employees because it challenges them, yet it depletes one’s sense of motivation over time. Constructive feedback, on the other hand, helps to boost employees and improve their performance. Constructive feedback can be given in various ways- from face-to-face conversations to email messages or even over the phone. Constructive feedback is less formal than negative criticism and should not come across as demoralizing.

Constructive feedback should be given before giving criticism to frame the conversation. Constructive feedback is made up of both praise and constructive advice for future improvement, as opposed to negative feedback, which only offers one or the other.

What Makes Constructive Feedback Constructive? 

Constructive feedback should never include criticism that comes across as demoralizing, impulsive, or irrelevant to the work being done. Instead, constructive feedback begins with praise to ease into the constructive dialogue about skills and areas of improvement. Constructive feedback should be given in private, focusing on how to improve future performance rather than past mistakes. Constructive feedback is more effective when given during or after work time instead of taking up valuable mental energy and attention while working.

How Can You Give Constructive Feedback? 

Constructive feedback starts with praise. Constructive feedback also needs to focus on how to improve future performance rather than past mistakes or criticism. Constructive feedback should be given privately, during work time, and not take up valuable mental energy while working, as it will have less impact if the person is preoccupied with their tasks.

How Can You Accept Constructive Feedback? 

When you are given constructive feedback, be open-minded and receptive to what is being said. Constructive feedback should not come across as criticism or demoralizing. Constructive feedback can seem like a personal attack if it’s worded incorrectly, so take time to process the message before responding. Just because someone has your best interest at heart does not mean that you will always like what they have to say. Nevertheless, constructive feedback is a chance for growth, and it should be heard with an open mind.

Some Constructive Feedback Examples of Construct

Below are a few examples of giving constructive feedback:

  • You did an excellent job on this project!
  • Your work is fantastic; you might want to consider improving it by adding more detail.
  • That was awesome! I love the way you handled that situation and think your communication skills are excellent. Do you feel like there’s anything we could do better?
  • You are great at what you do, but we need to work on one important skill that could make your performance even more impressive.
  • Your leadership skills were awe-inspiring today! Can I give you a few ideas for how you might continue to develop them in the future?

How to Give Constructive Feedback – Step by Step 

Step One: Start with Constructive Feedback

Begin by praising the person for something they did well. This will help them be open-minded about what you are saying and set the tone of your conversation as one that is more positive than negative.

Step Two: Discuss Constructively, Not Critically

Look at ways in which their performance could have been better- this should focus on future improvement rather than past mistakes or criticism. Be specific and provide suggestions to make improvements. Focus on skills needed for current tasks instead of all of a person’s abilities; feedback should be constructive, not critical or demoralizing.

For example, if someone was given constructive feedback because he didn’t respond to an email message quickly enough, give him some tips for being more responsive in the future, such as setting up a rule or reminder on his phone.

Step Three: End Constructive Feedback with Praise

End your constructive feedback by praising something else that they did well and reiterate some of what you have discussed about areas of improvement; this will help them take your feedback without feeling attacked. Be specific about what was good about their performance today so that it is clear where they need work in the future.

Step Four: Constructive Feedback Summary – Give Constructive Feedback Continuous Constructive feedback is an opportunity for growth and should be heard with an open mind. It starts with praising something they did well before discussing areas where their performance could improve. Praise should encompass all aspects of their work; criticism focuses on past mistakes rather than future improvement opportunities.

Also, check out what Cognitive psychologist LeeAnn Renninger have to tell about giving constructive feedback!

The secret to giving great feedback


Constructive feedback is a valuable tool that can help us improve in all aspects of our lives. However, it’s important to remember that constructive feedback should be given and accepted in the right way. This blog post discussed how you shouldn’t criticize your employees or friends openly when giving them feedback. You also need to make sure not to withhold any criticism because they’re close with you; set aside your pride for their benefit! If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to check out some of our other content on similar topics by clicking here. Happy reading!

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Professional consultant and project manager in software houses. He has over 8 years of experience as a project manager for key clients. Currently mainly works on business consulting and communication with strategic clients. Privately a fan of good food, board games, and cycling. He loves to share his experience with new people!

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