Thursday, 9 February 2012

Giving Negative Feedback? Sleep on It First

As a leader, when you need to give negative feedback, do you do it immediately or do you sleep on it first?

Many people advise that you should give negative or difficult feedback immediately, preferably within 24 hours of an incident. But next time you have to provide constructive criticism, consider sleeping on it first. Your input will be far more effective, and better received, if you aren't feeling the emotions related to the situation. Put some distance between the offending action and the feedback to give yourself perspective. You may need to calm down over several days. This will give you time to prepare, consider the other's point of view and how the feedback might be received, and deliver the message in a calm and helpful way.  This demands the full range of emotional intelligence skills....but that's one of the reasons you're in a leadership position.  If you don't have the EI, you probably shouldn't be leading.

Adapted from Guide to Giving Effective Feedback (HBR OnPoint Collection).

1 comment:

  1. I always make sure that I sleep on it first as I do not want to say anythjing that I wish I could take back. These conversations are just like planning a lesson for the clasroom. You have to be prepared. There is never one of these conversation that I have where I have not prepared and rehearsed (in my head) the discussion before it takes place. It is so easy to wait until the next day. Plus, it gives all involved time to think and reflect.