It happens every day in every credit union.  A team member approaches a colleague or a manager, shares their recent or in progress work product, and asks for some feedback.

Often the person asking for the feedback makes it clear that they want to hear both the truth.  The almost beg the responder to deliver their candid and honest opinion.

But if we step back and look at the situation, we can see that this is a powerful moment.  It is  a moment that can make or break a relationship. It is a moment that can motivate or demoralize a team member.

The challenge you face when asked to provide this kind of feedback is what to say and what not to say, and the latter is far more important than the former.  To help you rise to the challenge and get the best results from your team, consider the action advice below.

ACTION ADVICE: The next time a team member in your credit union asks for your feedback on their work product, keep these tips in mind:

1.  If the work product is good, say its good and leave it at that. You don’t need to nitpick the details in order to give a balance positive and negative comments.  Sometimes the work really doesn’t need more tweaking.

2. If the work product is not good, be honest and candid, but complain with love and compassion.  Offer possible solutions for the problems you identify with the work, share examples of work that demonstrates what you think would work better, and offer practical advice that can be used to improve the work.

3. Remember…negative feedback creates a much more powerful emotional impact on us than positive feedback, and for each person the equation is different.  Always share the good, hold back the bad if it’s not really going to dramatically impact the result, and be a mentor and coach when there are real problems that need to be fixed.