6 Ways to Give Feedback to Your Boss and Coworkers - CBS News

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  • 1/1/14 6 Ways to Give Feedback to Your Boss and Coworkers - CBS News

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    By SUZANNE LUCAS / MONEYWATCH / September 15, 2010, 6: 15 AM

    6 Ways to Give Feedback toYour Boss and Coworkers

    Last Updated Sep 21, 2010 7:30 PM EDT

    Dear Evil HR Lady,

    I recently started a new job at an amazing company. It's a really open culture

    and it feels as if my opinion counts more here than it has before.

    My boss often asks for my feedback on how things are going. I have a ton of

    ideas that I think would be really helpful to my boss and our team. If I share too

    much feedback privately will my ideas simply make him or colleagues look good

    and keep me in the shadows? Will sharing too much feedback hold me back?

    Feedback is one of my favorite subjects to wax on about. But unless you're careful,

    feedback is just talk.

    Here are 5 ways to make sure your feedback advances your career.

    1. Make sure you know what you are talking about. Presumably, you

    had some knowledge and skills that your manager thought would be

    beneficial to the company. That's why he hired you in the first place. But, you

    do need to learn what is going on before you start telling everyone how they

    should change. Sure, it may have worked very well when people did X at your

    previous company, but before you suggest your new company does X, make

    sure it's possible. The new company's company's computer systems, for

    instance, may not be equipped to handle it.

    2. Give more positive than negative feedback. Often times, people only

    want to tell others what they are doing wrong. This will not win you friends

    and respect. People won't say,"Gee, Stephanie is so smart! She finds all the

    problems." They will say, "Stephanie is such a whiner. Always complaining

    about things." Your ideas may be fabulous, but so are other peoples'. Make

    sure you point out the positive at least three times for each change you

    suggest.

    3. Don't just talk: Implement. You're concerned that your great ideas will

    make others look good, rather than making you look good? Well, that

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  • 1/1/14 6 Ways to Give Feedback to Your Boss and Coworkers - CBS News

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    happens when you sit on your heiny spouting ideas and other people carry

    them out. Pick a couple of your fabulous ideas and implement them. If they

    are too complex to implement on your own, write up your business plan

    before you start talking about them.

    4. Your job IS to make your boss look good. If the company has a nice,

    positive feeling about it, and feedback is encouraged, then stop worrying.

    Your job (even if your company stinks) is to make your boss look good. Smart

    bosses want smart people working for them, because it makes them look

    successful. Successful bosses get promoted. Promoted bosses leave vacancies.

    And who goes into those vacancies? Often the employee who helped the boss

    look good in the first place.

    5. Accept feedback from others graciously. Presumably, you aren't the

    only one who is encouraged to speak your mind. Others will be providing

    feedback to you (unfortunately, mostly negative because a lot of people think

    feedback=describing what you're doing wrong. You need to accept and

    consider their feedback. (Unless it's from your boss, you don't have to

    implement. And even then, there are things you can do when the boss is

    wrong.) When someone tells you a way to improve your project, listen and

    ask questions. You just may learn something.

    6. Don't expect others to always implement what you suggest.

    You're not the boss, you're an employee and a coworker. Don't get all bent

    out of shape when your suggestions are ignored. Remember, you'll be

    ignoring some other people's suggestions as well.

    Got a workplace dilemma? Email your questions to

    EvilHRLady@gmail.com.

    Photo by Steve Rhodes, Flickr cc 2.0 2010 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

    Suzanne LucasON TWITTER

    Suzanne Lucas spent 10 years in corporate Human Resources. She's

    hired, fired, and analyzed the numbers for several major companies.

    She founded the Carnival of HR, a bi-weekly gathering of HR blogs, and

    her writings have been used in HR certification and management training courses across the

    country.

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