How to handle a situation in which negative feedback was given

You’ve started the feedback process and someone on your team gives some pretty nasty feedback to a peer. Tensions escalate and you have a conflict on your hands. What do you do now?


1. Talk


Have a 1-on-1 with the person who gave the feedback. Allow them to explain the situation from their perspective: what happened and the impact it had on them. Explain why negative feedback is ineffective in altering the other person’s behavior and could in fact worsen the situation. Then together go through how their feedback could have been formulated more effectively.


2. Provide extra training


Have a session with your team on the right way to give feedback. Teach them to look for signs that their feedback might be negative or unhelpful. Does it state facts or make judgments? Is it directed at the person or their actions? Does it provide specific examples? For further information see this blogpost.


3. Sleep on it


Additionally, you can provide some advice on what to do when you want to send feedback but you’re angry about the situation. Giving feedback when angry is never a good idea. Before pressing send, advise your employees to sleep on it. In the morning they can have a fresh look at what they wrote the day before.


This article is part of a management guide about how to become a better leader with feedback. 

Next Guides:


Manager’s Handbook: How will giving more feedback help my team?


Receiving Feedback


Giving Feedback

Peer Feedback