Giving Feedback to People who Cry, Yell or Get Defensive

Giving feedback may be tough.  Remember the “why” when you are doing it.  Focus on the good reasons you are giving feedback.

Find your center and prepare, don’t go into a feedback session unprepared.  Increase your self-awareness.  Know how you react when someone has an emotional reaction.  Don’t wing these conversations.  Do your homework in advance and ground your assessments in observations, data, and concrete/factual examples.  Be as thoughtful as possible.

Handle reactions in the moment.  While the person you are speaking with may react negatively, you should remain calm.

Move the conversation to a productive place.  Work to diffuse the emotional response from the employee this will help you get back to the feedback.  If you have to, hold a second meeting.

When talking to someone who cries deliver the feedback thoughtfully and considerately.  Deliver the feedback at the end of the day.  Be sure to have a box of tissues available.  Acknowledge the conversation is difficult for the other person.

If the person yells, aim to stay calm while standing your ground.  Let the person know you don’t appreciate their yelling.

When an employee has a reason/explanation for everything, call the person out on not listening and encourage him/her to do so.

www.shrm.org “How to Give Feedback to People Who Cry, Yell or Get Defensive” October 26, 2016, Amy Jen Su

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