How To Give Negative Feedback?

A favorite frameworks for providing negative feedback is the CEDAR™ model from Anna Wildman. CEDAR is an acronym for the steps involved in providing feedback.

Context: Set the context for the person. Describe the problem, the role their behavior had in creating or exacerbating the problem, and the effects it had.

Examples: Provide one or more examples to illustrate the behavior. Don’t go overboard here. One example may be enough but never give more than three.

Diagnosis: Talk to the person about why they behaved as they did. My favorite approach is simply to ask, “What caused you to act that way?” or perhaps “What caused you to say that?”

Action: Ask the employee what actions they will take next. This could be aimed at correcting an existing problem or preventing it happening again. Get the person to state clearly what their goal is and name specific actions they’ll take to achieve it.

Review: End a discussion by establishing a plan to review the person’s progress. Ask them when you should meet again. Before then, observe the person. Look for an opportunity to praise them sincerely for any progress they’ve made.

A Fun Way of Giving Feedback – The 360 Dinner

How does it work?

#1: Invite your team to a nice dinner: Let colleagues know in advance this will be a special 360 Degree Feedback Dinner.

#2: During the meal you’ll give each other feedback: One person will start and the rest of the team will take a few minutes telling that person both positive and negative things. The feedback must be honest and genuine with the aim of moving people forward, not roasting them or pounding them into the ground. 

#3: The person on the receiving end can answer questions or comments and then thank everyone for their thoughts. Once that person is done move on to the next. This can take a long time so carve out a few hours.

#4: This feedback works best if afterwards each person comes up with a few takeaways/themes based on the feedback they got for what they want to improve. They should then communicate that to the team so that colleagues can hold each other to account and check in every few months to see how they’re progressing. 

Change doesn’t happen in a vacuum, in fact when we tell people we’re trying to change it happens 90 percent faster than if we don’t tell anyone.