Messaging matters: comments, criticisms, and suggestions in a professional setting

Messaging matters: comments, criticisms, and suggestions in a professional setting

Category : PROspective

This post was originally published in September 2022.

A new academic year brings a host of new interactions – with classmates, instructors, mentors, and employers. Most often, these interactions go smoothly, but there are certainly times when there’s room for improvement. Learning to provide valuable feedback in a professional setting is an important skill to develop. Whether your feedback is anonymous or not, it’s important to remember that there is another human being on the receiving end. Begin by giving that person the benefit of the doubt, and assuming that they are acting with the best intentions. When you have the opportunity to provide feedback in writing (e.g., via email, through course evaluations, or a survey), consider waiting to hit send until you’ve had some time to reflect on what you’ve written – particularly if you drafted your message in a heated moment!

This week’s featured article provides some additional advice about how to provide valuable feedback in the workplace. Here are the highlights (click through for the specifics!)

  1. Focus on the issue
  2. Be sincere
  3. Avoid the sandwich method
  4. Be specific
  5. Allow a response
  6. Recommend a solution
  7. Provide a summary

I encourage you to reference these guidelines as you’re sharing your ideas for improvement. Taking these steps will help these interactions to go much more smoothly, and you’re also more likely to achieve the result you were hoping for.


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