How to Get Your Staff, Co-Workers, or Your Boss to Listen to Your Feedback


Don’t feel you have to bite your tongue constantly when it comes to giving feedback to your boss, your co-workers or to your employees. There is a time and a place for giving feedback, and doing so effectively could make things better at your workplace. In fact, some businesses have instituted 360 degree feedback policies, where employees give feedback to their superiors, co-workers, and subordinates. Whether your company has such an official policy, or if you just need to give feedback to other people in your company, here are some tips to do so:

Pick your battles:  Your standard for the negative feedback should be based on whether what the person is doing is negatively affecting your business or company.  Minor idiosyncrasies and quirks and everyday annoyances are not worth talking about.

If giving critical feedback, explain how what the person is doing is negatively affecting the business: For example, if your supervisor has decided that nobody can take off time during the holidays, and it is a policy you disagree with, you can explain that this has caused morale problems with the staff, and two employees are quitting over the issue.  Your boss may or may not agree with changing the policy, but he or she now knows what the impact is of the policy.

Or if you have a co-worker who talks too much, and is distracting to others, including yourself. Put your criticism in the terms of you or others getting distracted from your work, nor in terms of them being rude. It will be much more likely to get a positive reception that way.

Use “I” instead of “you” if talking in person: Saying “I feel that” rather than “You do this” could result in more of a positive reception to your feedback.

Separate personal feelings from the business:  Whether you like these fellow employees personally or not shouldn’t be relevant, unless your co-worker’s personality is negatively affecting the workplace. Stick with issues connected to the job at hand, and be fair.

Examine your motives: In some cases, some employees, such as co-workers, could be a rival with you. So make sure that your feedback comes from a good place, and not as a way to put a company rival down.

Don’t forget to say positive things: You should give a complete, 360 degree portrait of the employees who you are giving feedback to. That means to find positive things to include in your appraisals, not just negative. Try to find something positive to say about everyone you work with, and recognize those doing great work.