Constructive Feedback – How To Give One To Your Virtual Assistant

Giving constructive feedback is a bit of an art form. It takes the ability to balance both positive information and negative information into an efficient and productive message. Not everybody has the natural ability to communicate this way, but the good news is that they are skills that can be learned. And when you’re able to give constructive feedback, you not only develop a better working relationship with others, you’ll receive better quality in terms of materials in return. Learning to give effective feedback only benefit your business in the long run.

So how do you give constructive feedback and what exactly do we mean by constructive feedback?

The term constructive is the key word here, and constructive means that it actually produces beneficial results. You can give feedback on something and not actually get any results from it if the feedback does not help the recipient of the feedback move forward and make a change.

An example of feedback that is not constructive would be “I don’t really like this” or “you did a good job.” Neither one of those sentences gives the recipient any information to improve their work or their skills.

The First Step

The first step to giving constructive feedback is to review the material based on your request. Compare what you asked for with what you received. If you didn’t get what you requested, where did they fall short? What’s missing? What does not match your initial request?

Next, review the materials with a critical eye. What did they do really well, and where could they improve or make changes? Now you have a list of the good, and the potentially bad. You have the tools for feedback.

The Sandwich Approach

The sandwich approach to feedback is where you essentially sandwich negative feedback or criticism between positive feedbacks. Here’s what it looks like:

I really like what you did here.
This did not work so well for me, so perhaps next time you can do this…
And I think you did a great job with this… thank you very much for your hard work.

So you see, in the middle not only was the criticism there, but it also offered a suggestion about what could be done next time to improve. That is the essence of constructive feedback – it’s not just criticism, it also provides steps for improvement.

When you learn to give constructive feedback to your virtual assistant you’ll find very quickly that not only are they responsive but that the quality of their work on your material improves very quickly. It develops a powerful relationship between you and some of your most trusted team members and it helps you grow your business and a powerful and productive way.