Whether you are giving positive or negative feedback it always must be delivered with care. Communication with fellow employees or subordinates is always a very sensitive situation. Sometimes communications can come off leaving people feeling lost or confused. Therefore, communication must be clear and concise and be delivered in a very professional manner.
I have been on both sides of the table. I have been given positive feedback, and on many occasions, I have been given negative feedback. Negative feedback always hurts it doesn’t matter the situation or the circumstances. There have been times when I felt that I did a great job and then come to find out my superiors felt that my work was lacking. This is happened to me in a collegiate context and in a professional context.
I remember a time that I put a ton of effort into an essay that I wrote on the History of American Government. I filled it with a lot of opinion and a lot of circumstantial evidence and it came up lacking. My teacher at the time was a very stern and he ended up giving me an 82% which almost devastated me. He was clear and concise in his representation of my paper and he was very professional when he communicated the negative feedback. He gave me the feedback in a report and he gave it to me in class in person. The feedback did make me feel very bad but in the long run it made me a better writer and a better student.
I think that the effects of negative feedback can be detrimental and they can be positive. Depending on the delivery of the feedback negative feedback can help a person pull out of whatever circumstances that they are mired in. Sometimes a swift kick in the butt is what someone needs for some clear hindsight and at other times a kind yet stern word can steer someone off of a wrong path. It is important to understand that when giving professional feedback giving a clear and honest opinion but doing it with tact, elegance and the utmost respect is very important when communicating to fellow co-workers, subordinates or superiors for that matter.
To sum it up, careful consideration must be taken when delivering negative feedback. Understanding the person understanding the situation and delivering a respectful tone in your communication is very important. Sometimes practice is needed when communicating effectively, especially in a negative light. It is good in my experience to go over what you’re going to say ahead of time practice it once or twice in the mirror or write it down one time so that you understand that the delivery must be professional and must be tactful and so you are prepared for the situation.