“Being positive doesn’t mean you don’t address what’s wrong. It means you confront issues in a constructive way to make them right.” – Jon Gordon
We often associate constructive feedback with negativity. Gordon says that in an attempt to be positive, we forego or delay feedback. He suggests a different approach.
I think constructive feedback is one form of courageous communication. By its very nature, constructive feedback says: “Instead of doing that, you should consider doing this,” or “don’t do this, do that,” or “it’s essential in the future you do this.” It can feel like a hard conversation when you suggest, direct, or insist that someone take a different action.
Gordon says don’t hide from it. He says do it with thought. There are right ways to frame feedback. Those ways consider feelings and dignity. They certainly require the right time, the right thought, and the right words.
When you are concerned the feedback can go south, you can plan it. Role-play it with a colleague you trust. Refine it until you’re ready to give it.
Preparation for courageous communication will always serve you.