The Do’s and Don’ts of Giving Feedback


Being able to give effective feedback is not just a good skill to possess in business, it is a great life skill to have.  Because when you are masterful at giving feedback, not only can you help your employees to sustain continuously improving performance, you can also improve the performance of the baseball team you coach, the cleaning lady at home, or the performance of your own children on completing their chores.  Any person’s performance in any activity can be positively impacted by effective feedback.  Isn’t that a powerful skill to have?

Wouldn’t you want to be a master at giving really useful and impactful feedback?

The good news is that it is not difficult to be good at giving feedback.  It does take some effort and practice. But it is definitely a skill that can be learned.  So, to get you started, here are the Do’s and Don’ts of giving feedback.

Let’s start with the Do’s:

Be Timely:  in order for feedback to be effective, you need to act quickly.  If months have gone by before you bring up an incident, the person receiving the feedback will interpret your delay to imply that it couldn’t have been that important, and the effect of the feedback is greatly diminished.

Be Specific: talk about your feedback in very direct and specific terms (“I noticed there were several calculation errors in last month’s report”).  If you are vague (“your work is unacceptable”), how can you get the message across?  Focus on the action and the results.  Be very factual in your discussion.

Be Open and Offer Suggestions: if the objective of your feedback discussion is to produce an improvement of performance, then come equipped with suggestions (again be specific) on what the person can do to affect that change. Be open to their perspective and be willing to discuss how
they see that situation.  Enroll them in coming up with a solution that they can buy into.  If you don’t get buy-in, change will not happen.

Create the right environment: feedback is best done in person, and in a private setting.  In a business setting, arrange a time and place for your discussion.  Don’t just catch people on the fly and throw a few comments their way as they are heading down the hallway and expect your comments to have any impact.

Check for understanding and buy-in: if the feedback discussion is about a performance issue, make sure you check-in on how your comments have landed with the person. Establish some sort of accountability to verify their buy-in.  For example, if you have an employee who constantly misses deadlines.  During the discussion, ask for a commitment that he will meet all deadlines for the next quarter.  Make sure that the commitment is specific,
and not something vague like: “I’ll do a better job of meeting deadlines next quarter.”

And now for the Don’ts:

Don’t Make it personal:  there is a difference between giving feedback and criticizing.  Do not make it personal.
Don’t interpret actions (showing up late) and pass judgment on the person (he is slacker and isn’t truly dedicated to
this job).  Criticism destroys relationships.  If your employee feels like he is being attacked, he is not going to be very open to hear what you have to say, he will immediately become defensive, and your job becomes much harder.  Focus the discussion on the action, not the person.  Make your employee feel that he is being supported, even if his performance is not up to standard.

Don’t Only give feedback when there’s a problem:  if you’re their leader, people need to know where they stand with you.  If you have a great employee who always exceeds your expectations, take the time to give him just as much feedback as your biggest challenge.  As a matter of fact, make it a point to give more positive feedback comments than “constructive” ones with every person.  You’ll be amazed at how much more motivated your employees will become with consistent positive reinforcement.

Don’t Address multiple issues in one discussion:  your employee will go into overload and you will lose the impact of the discussion.  If there are multiple issues, have different discussions and just concentrate on addressing them one at a time.

So there you have it, a short list of Do’s and Don’ts you can apply to whatever feedback you need to give.  Remember, most people, even your rebellious teenager, want to do a good job and to please.  They do need some clues as to how they are doing and what they need to change.  So master the art of feedback and you can really help each other.

Article Author: Inez Ng

The Do’s and Don’ts of Giving Feedback
Copyright 2005 Inez Ng

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Leadership Coach Inez Ng works with professionals and entrepreneurs to produce positive results quickly.  While focusing on specific areas, her coaching positively impacts all areas of her clients’ lives.  Learn more about coaching with Inez at Need help managing your avalanche of emails?  Check out



Cultural Values in China and it’s Implications in Business


Cultural Values in China and it’s Implications in Business

Author: Eric Castro

China business networks are sustained by cultural values and traditions from China. When these values disappear, the networks will collapse. Trust, reciprocity, face, time, harmony, hierarchy, power distance, long-term orientation has been identified as the key cultural values from China.
These cultural values from China are the main representations of the seven core rituals of Confucianism: Benevolence, Harmony, Midway, Forbearance, Filial Piety, Trust and Cautious Words.
In China, chronic suspicion prevails. China people ‘appear to be quite suspicious and cold towards strangers with whom relationships have not been established’. Nobody could be trusted except one’s kinfolk in the form of the extended family. As China people do not trust outsiders, a social network consisting of family members, relatives, friends, classmates, colleagues etc is the immediate sphere on which trust can be established, reciprocated and developed. Such an obsession with trust is caused by another, often neglected, phenomenon in China, dishonesty. In business transactions, a great deal of adulteration of goods is practiced, for example, weights and measures are juggled. To protect one’s interest and ensure that opportunistic behaviors such as cheating are kept to a minimum, trust must be established before any serious business relationship can be cemented. Trust-based ‘guanxiwang’ is the alternative to the market, which is often driven by opportunistic behaviors.
Not coincidentally; for both transaction cost theory and network theory, trust has been also regarded as a critical component of the network (Thorelli 1986; Jarillo 1988; Williamson 1988). Williamson advocates that exchange relationships based on personal trust will survive greater stress and display greater adaptability. Thorelli observes that trust in Oriental cultures may even take the place of contractual arrangements.
Face, Hierarchy and Power Distance
Face is a concept of central importance because of its pervasive influence in interpersonal relations among Chinese. Chinese face can be classified into two types, ‘lian’and ‘mian-zi’. ‘Lian’ represents the confidence of society in the integrity of ego’s moral character, loss of which makes it impossible for him to function properly within the community, while ‘mian-zi’ stands for the kind of prestige that is emphasized, a reputation achieved through getting on in life, through success and ostentation’. When ‘lian’ is lost, the person will feel that he/she can no longer live in the world.
Loss of ‘lian’ within a guanxiwang as a consequence of opportunistic behavior means that peers will no longer have confidence in the persons or firms concerned. As a result, their membership within a ‘guanxiwang’ and in society will be untenable. Therefore, face can be another hostage which minimizes the possibility of opportunistic behavior within a guanxiwang. This is another reason why ‘guanxiwang’ cannot merely survive but can also develop in mainland China and overseas Chinese communities.
‘Mian-zi’ can also be used to form new guanxiwang. One of Confucius’ virtues is to respect authority and the elderly. Someone with authority, often elderly and with a good reputation, can ask favours of others. The person may act as a common agent to start a new exchange relationship. Favours can also be asked between friends. It is an accepted norm that as ‘old friends’ one should give face to the other when favour is requested. Once again, it has been shown that the cultural values from China such as face, hierarchy and power distance are closely related to the creation and development of the business network.
This article was researched and produced by Posicionarte for China Trading Company , 2007
Author Bio:
Eric Castro Mattas, is chief editor of Posicionarte researching and producing articles for China Trading Company. If you need products from China please visit

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Women Employees In BPO


Today women play a vital role in Indian BPO sector. According to survey out of 400 million of workforce in India, around 30-40 percent are females. They are one of the driving forces behind the success of call center industry in India.

The Indian BPO industry accounts for a revenue US$ 39.6 billion and has emerged as one of the largest private industry providing direct employment to 1.6 million professionals.

The participation of women in BPO industry has been seen as a critical enabling factor for continued growth of the industry. Today BPO companies are recognizing women on board at all levels and this helps the organization to make good business sense.

Therefore BPO companies are trying to develop and involve women for higher roles and functions.

Most of the people talk about exploitation of women in call centers. Despite the physical stress, mundane nature of the job and low status of call center work, women constitute about 70 percent of the total workforce in BPO sector. According to an independent research it has been found out that women are satisfied and enjoy their work at call centers. A call center job gives them more freedom and autonomy.

Women especially in India have found out that, the wages that they earn through a BPO job help them to experience freedom and autonomy. In India the women mobility has always been controlled by men even in case of highly educated and independent women. According to a study carried on call center workers in India, it has been found that women are happy to learn new skills and have learnt to become more assertive.

The acquired call center skills ranging from soft skills like communication, interpersonal and listening skills to product knowledge and technical knowledge have given a sense of confidence in women. This helps them to deal with customers as well as society at large. However there are women who opt for call center career for short span of life while others continue to pursue their careers in call centers.

The interpersonal skills of women are now being recognized and valued in call centers. In most of the call centers, a premium is attached to women’s voice and interpersonal skills. This is because the quality of customer care jobs ultimately helps a company to gain huge profits. The exact number of women working in Indian BPO’s is not exactly known but the development of IT industry in India had a clear impact on emancipation of women.

According to the studies of village pay phones in Bangladesh, advancement of computer aided technologies and networking in India show that the household income has increased and women have a say and mobility in household matters. With introduction of communication technologies and new information the workload of every woman has increased. They have to do the unpaid household chores in addition to the paid work in the BPO industry.

There is no doubt that technology itself is gendered and is strongly shaped by the patriarchal yardstick of class and gender. Despite all these the most important issue is to restore and carry forward the empowered participation of women in the development of technology and enhance the participation of women through skills, education and creative knowledge. The Indian BPO industry has set high standards in gender inclusivity. Today women play a vital role as the part of the BPO workforce. It has been suggested that the professional skills of women needs to upgrade therefore a number of mentorship programs are being organized.

These programs help women working in BPO to have a definite career path and fulfill a certain criteria in the empowerment of women. India has the largest number of women working in BPO’sthan any other single country in the world. This can be partly attributed to the growth of BPO’s in India.

Article Author: Ivana Lewis

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