Providing Feedback is a Value-Added Skill. Don’t Hate!

One thing I have noticed along my blogger journey is that it is much easier to find typos in the posts of other’s than my own. For some reason, they jump off the page at me when I read other writer’s stuff. However, when I write my own posts I write in MS Word first, proofread 10 times, and then use a grammar checker on top of that, but yet, many times I STILL miss a typo or two. On several occasions, I have been called out for typos by commenters. Some people are nice about it and offer constructive criticism. Others are not so nice; they take it as an opportunity to tell you how bad your writing is and how you have no business publishing.

Feedback from others is needed in order to achieve self-improvement. While we may not always be able to control the way we perceive our faults, we can take steps towards being able to provide valuable feedback without ruining someone’s day. Giving feedback is a skill that can be learned and optimized for maximum impact.

Don’t find fault, find a remedy. – Henry Ford

Instead of just merely pointing out faults in people, focus on offering solutions. Be a helper that lifts people up, rather than being someone that is overly critical that tears people down.

Provide some positive aspects to your feedback. Encouraging people to repeat the positive behaviors will help them just as much if not more than discouraging the negative.

Make sure to be specific with your feedback and offer action items. If you don’t provide people details and ways they can use your feedback for self-improvement, then it is no longer feedback, it becomes criticism. See the difference?

No: “Wow, your writing sucks! It is a wonder LinkedIn keeps publishing your stuff.”

Yes: “I noticed XYZ in your post. Here is a solution that has worked for me in the past to help solve XYZ. I hope you find it as useful as I have.”

Also, one trend I have noticed is that people can be much harsher when providing feedback online. My take is that you should provide the same type of feedback online as you would if you were sitting face to face.

Your feedback should be an honest evaluation. So, don’t sway too far on the positive end and forget about offering solutions to problems.

Providing feedback at work in a way that is uplifting and constructive is a skill that every employer looks for in management. Being able to do so, will give you a leg up the next time you go for a new position.

Providing useful feedback to writers will help them get better, which improves the overall quality of the platform. Giving negative feedback might make someone want to call it a day with their blogging and chuck their laptop in a lake. (I considered it briefly after someone blasted me here with some overtly negative criticism)

Do you agree that providing feedback is a skill? What has your experience been with receiving and giving feedback in a professional setting? Please do engage in discussion below regarding the art of giving feedback or anything else that came to mind while reading my post. I also welcome your feedback. Just take it easy, as my laptop does not swim.

“Giving feedback is a skill. Do it well and people love you. Do it wrong and people &$%#!. By @SocialMktgSltns #Don’tHate” <ClickToTweet>

About the Author: John White is the Chief Marketing Officer at Social Marketing Solutions, the LinkedIn group owner of Publishers and Bloggers, MBA graduate, and contributor to Dice Tech News, Linked Into Business, and more.

Need a blogger to help tell your company’s brand story or support for your company’s social media marketing? Email me at or call me direct at 970.692.3270.

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