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Purpose of Constructive Feedback
The purpose of constructive feedback is to give feedback to an individual in a way that will lead to improvements or corrections. This is important, as it enhances personal and professional growth in individuals.

For example, constructive feedback can:
  • Improve employee morale
  • Reduce confusion regarding expectations and current performance
  • Provide a new perspective and give valuable insight to the person receiving feedback
  • Positively impact an individual’s behavior

Making Feedback Constructive
It is important to be able to differentiate between constructive feedback and destructive feedback. Destructive feedback points at faults and is a direct attack on the individual. In destructive feedback, no practical advice or supportive feedback is given.

Examples of destructive feedback include:
  • “You’re wrong.”
  • “That is not how you do things around here.”
  • “You have no idea what you are doing.”

Here are some tips for making feedback constructive:
1. Focus on observation and not inference
Constructive feedback should relate to what you can see or hear about that person’s behavior rather than making assumptions and interpretations.

2.  Focus on behavior and not the individual
Constructive feedback should be about what the individual did rather than who the individual is.

3.  Focus on things that can be changed
Constructive feedback should be about things that a person can change and improve on rather than on something that is out of his/her control.

4.  Provide recommendations and solutions
Constructive feedback should include a specific solution or recommendation.

How to Give Constructive Feedback
Here are five steps for giving constructive feedback:
1. State the purpose of your feedback
State what you will be talking about and why it is important.

2. Describe what you have observed and your reaction
Clearly identify the action or event and how it makes you or other members feel.

3. Give the individual an opportunity to respond
After you have stated the purpose, importance, observation, and your reaction, ask the person what they think about it.

4. Offer specific suggestions or solutions
After you hear the individual out, give input as to how the situation can be improved.

5. Summarize everything discussed
Summarize everything that was discussed to avoid any misunderstandings. Also, summarizing helps ensure that the constructive feedback was communicated efficiently.