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Leadership is hard, and any leader will tell anyone that the relationships they build with people determine their success. If they want to develop strong relationships at work, one of the most important things they can do is give constructive feedback.

Here are some tips on how to give constructive feedback as a leader and why it is important:


1. Promotes self-awareness

People want to do a good job and feel like they are contributing. Giving feedback is a way to inspire people to self-improvement, and it can help identify where people need help achieving their goals.


2. Be Specific

It’s important to be specific in your feedback when giving constructive feedback as a leader. Rather than saying that someone is “lazy,” “hard-working,” or “uncommunicative,” express concrete reasons as to why the person is behaving a certain way. If you communicate this straightforwardly and honestly, you’ll find that it will be more likely that the person targeted will make changes of their own accord.


3. Builds a Communicative Environment Based on Reciprocity, Respect, and Openness

If you want to grow your relationship with someone, give them constructive feedback on time. If they respond to this feedback in the spirit it’s meant to be given, you can build up a great relationship and trust. But if they ignore or deny the feedback, this can create a negative perception of the person in question and build tension between them.


4. Minimizes Errors

When giving constructive feedback as a leader, it’s important to minimize errors. In other words, before giving feedback, it’s helpful to fully understand the facts of a situation and what went wrong to avoid making things worse.


5. Seek Reassurance

Asking for reassurance after giving constructive feedback can help build rapport and trust in your relationship. It’s also a way to make sure that the feedback you’re giving gets received in the right spirit.


6. Be Specific About Next Steps

One of the defining characteristics of feedback is that it’s open-ended and requires people to follow up with their commitments. Giving concrete next steps reduces ambiguity, builds trust, and can help people achieve their goals.


With these tips, you can be a leader that gives constructive feedback and helps others to improve themselves. Understanding constructive feedback principles will help you keep your relationship with your subordinates strong and build trust in the process.