Many people struggle to know how to give someone feedback without offending them. One of the most popular tools I teach is a ‘no tears’ script for just that.
The key to mastering this skill is to ensure that the feedback is specific and recent and then ramp up the empathy for why they’re behaving in that way in the first place. If you come across as accusing them in any way, they’ll shut down, but if they truly believe that you’ve put yourself in their shoes, they’ll listen to what you have to say.
Here’s an example of the 5 part script:
💜 GIVE A SPECIFIC AND RECENT EXAMPLE:
Amy, I’ve noticed that you’ve been significantly late to work multiple times this week.
💜 SHOW EMPATHY:
Now I know that you have a lot to juggle on your own at home at the moment with your partner being overseas.
💜 SAY HOW YOU FEEL:
I’m feeling frustrated that you’re not letting me know that you’re going to be late and that the reception isn’t covered until 10am some days.
💜 SAY WHAT YOU NEED:
In future, I need you to call me as soon as you realise that things aren’t going to plan.
💜 EXPLAIN CONSEQUENCES & BENEFITS:
That way, I can organise a temp first thing, we won’t miss client calls and you won’t feel so pressured to handle everything on your own. Does that sound like a fair request?
If you’ve been putting off a feedback conversation through fear, script it on paper and practice it until it flows. Sometimes it’s our negative energy that causes defensiveness in the other person. Notice how much easier it is when we have their best interests at heart.