Feedback is tough to give, especially over email when you don’t have body language or facial expressions to help you come across the right way. Include these three elements in emailed feedback to focus on the work rather than dwelling on the criticism.
Image from ThoroughlyReviewed.
Keep the focus on the job at hand by getting specific in each of these areas:
- Appreciation for Their Work: Acknowledge the effort they have put in so far and how they have contributed, even if the result needs improvement. For example, “Thanks for turning this deck around so quickly! It gives us a solid framework to build on for our presentation next week.”
- Specific Feedback: Give actionable feedback that is easy for your colleague to move forward with. For example, “Our presentation will be much stronger if we include a case study. Let’s use the X project from last month and put it after slide 8.”
- Next Steps: Outline what needs to be done next so that everyone understands how they’re contributing going forward and progress is made. This also helps shift the focus to what’s next. For example, “After you add the case study, I’ll go through and make sure formatting is consistent and add the appendix slides. Then we can meet at the end of this week to finalise the deck and divvy up parts of the presentation.”
By including these three areas in your email feedback, your message is more effective and your working relationships stay positive.
How to Give Negative Feedback Over Email [Harvard Business Review]