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A feedback about a coworker is a means of communication; it tells the story of how a coworker feels about another coworker. The working environment requires a collaborative effort from all the parties involved. Works that do not allow interactions between coworkers are very few. Interaction between colleagues is inevitable and very important to an organisation’s future. Coworkers’ interaction has a lot of advantages and there are times when we would need to get Feedback on how our coworkers are doing. When it comes to giving feedback from a coworker, it must not be taken lightly. 

Feedback is a critical component of management that helps to improve performance and iron out wrongs. Oftentimes, feedback is a moment of truth and a powerful tool even if it is just between two colleagues. Giving feedback to colleagues can sometimes be a difficult thing to take, even when the goal is positive. We are different from each other and we act and see things differently. What can make a difference is the level of interaction between the coworkers. It is easy to criticize, but it is hard to receive criticism especially when it comes from someone you don’t have the correct rapport with. 

Feedback can be well accepted if the recipient knows that the critic or the person giving the feedback means well. In a home for instance, when the husband criticizes the wife, the wife can see it as a way to improve or take it as the husband doesn’t see anything good in what she is doing. First of all, the coworkers must trust themselves and believe that the feedback is meant for improvement. At work, it takes time to build trust; it takes a lot of shared experiences and relationships to trust. When there is a cool and working relationship between coworkers, they can even ask for feedback on what they have done. 

Why Feedback About Coworker Is Important 

Feedback is a valuable resource for coworkers to adjust their behavior and improve their performance. In a workplace where there are lots of workers, it is important to have a culture of giving feedback. Feedback works well when coworkers are psychologically safe and trust their colleagues to deliver the truth. It is not always about saying “well done” at all times, which deprives us of the opportunity to go deep into issues. Research has it that 43% of people do not feel connected at work and about 38% of people don’t trust their coworkers. Even though they see each other every day and work together, only a small percentage trust themselves. 

Some people might feel hesitant about feedback and say it is the responsibility of the manager. Many coworkers might not want to give feedback so that other coworkers don’t give feedback about them too. While it is the responsibility of the managers to assess and give feedback, it is also a collective effort of the coworkers. It is part of creating a culture of feedback and further strengthens the work bond. Feedback helps to curb unpleasant interaction and settle differences before it turns into a toxic relationship. Employees are likely to quit if they have toxic colleagues in their team.

Report also has it that coworkers who have high connections have high productivity and professional growth. It is easy to attain a goal when you work with people of like minds and energy. 

Your colleagues can either make your work easy or very hard. When you are not getting along well with your colleagues, your stress level will increase. Sometimes you get to spend more time with your colleagues than your family or close relatives daily. So, it is possible that they know so much about you. That is why it is important to have a friendly relationship with coworkers. A positive relationship with colleagues will go a long way, especially in times of giving feedback.

You cannot easily withdraw attention from someone you haven’t invested your time and attention with. Coworkers’ relationships are being tested during the giving and receiving of feedback. 

The top importance of giving feedback is for a long-term relationship and productivity. Feedback could be positive or negative (constructive criticism) comments. Positive feedback is a way to show appreciation to your colleagues and build a positive relationship. Recognizing each other’s achievements helps to create acceptance and build solidarity. It also helps to boost morale, encourage new ideas and strengthen relationships.

Constructive criticism helps to identify relational differences and point out where to change and adjust. A worker might not know he is doing something in the wrong way until someone identifies it and points his attention to it. 

How To Write Feedback for A Coworker 

A feedback culture is needed within an organization. There must be a mechanism in place, and it must be effectively used for maximum results. Every organization must know the best technique that best fits their workers. If writing is not going to be helpful, why not try other available options? Let’s examine a few available steps needed. 

1.       Determine what type of feedback approach

Feedback can come in many forms, either by writing or holding a face-to-face forum. For instance, when you want to give feedback about a colleague you feel is reducing your pace or hindering your work. For some reason, you don’t get to see this person all the time, it will be better to have a face-to-face conversation with the person. Putting your feedback in writing might further complicate the matter. Also, in conflict resolution matters, it is better to hold a live conversation instead of writing. There are some emotions that cannot be expressed in writing.

Writing may not be the best option when feedback needs an urgent response. Although, writing is the easiest and can make the feedback more confidential and not confrontational. Evaluate the type of mechanism that will work for your company. 

2.       Don’t overlook positive feedback

Many people believe that feedback could only mean a negative report. It is time we bury that idea and know that feedback could also mean positive report and encouragement. Sometimes, we tend to overlook the place of positive feedback and assume that the person is doing his job. Of course, he is doing his job but a little word of appreciation and encouragement will go far. Positive feedback could be what you will leverage on to deliver the shortcomings of the person. A coworker can laud his colleague in a live meeting and deliver his shortcomings in private. 

3.       Use management tools provided

Some companies give the opportunity at certain times during the year to give feedback on how the work has been going. It could be an organization’s performance assessment; you can leverage this to write about your colleagues’ behavior and actions. Remember to add how it affects you and the company as a whole. 

4.       Have a goal and be specific about it

One of the mistakes that many people make is not being specific with their feedback. Many will tell lots of stories without cementing a point. If you want your feedback to be taken seriously, have a goal and be specific. At times, you may want your colleagues to improve their behavior or collaborate with you more. Make your point as straightforward as possible. 

Feedback about a coworker

Constructive Feedbacks and Its Impact on Coworkers 

To be factual, we can be impatient and imperfect in the way we approach things. Two people can say the same thing and we will give different and opposite reactions. It is not always about doing the necessary thing, it is about doing it right. No one likes to admit that they are not good enough at something. Especially when they are putting so much effort into it, it is very hard to take. But how else do we tell those people that what they are doing is wrong? Or you could have done better, or next time improve on this and that. 

Many people do not know how to give constructive feedback (criticism) with managers included. So, what was meant to correct a person becomes hate and fight. There are times when we need to be blunt in our feedback and times when we need to be constructive. How do you give constructive feedback in a way that will not annoy the person or affect your relationship? 

Ensure that the feedback is useful: If the feedback is not useful, you are risking the relationship you have with the person. The person might not take you seriously when you have more pressing matters. 

Make sure that the person is open to feedback: There are some people who are not open to feedback, they do their things their way. Also, many employees don’t entertain feedback from their colleagues. You can leave that to someone in a higher position to deliver the feedback. 

Know the best approach: Empathy and emotions are not easily delivered in written words; they might require physical or virtual meetings. Some coworkers might just need you to explain some things to them and that’s the change they need. 

Explain their impact to the team: Another way to easily draw constructive feedback is explaining their impact to the team. Tell them what you know the team can achieve with them and what they are currently doing. 

Tell them everyone makes mistakes: You can tell them that nobody is above making mistakes. They don’t have to feel bad; they just have to move forward when they make mistakes. 

Don’t make it all about them: This can make them switch off and adamant. Except there have been long warnings and you can no longer entertain it, make your feedback brief. Don’t make it all about them. 

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Frequently Asked Questions 

Question: What can you do when a coworker is adamant and doesn’t listen to feedback? 

Answer: You could inform the rest of the team about the workers behavior and report him to the higher officers. 

Question: Positive feedback examples 

Answer: Good work, team player, milestones, leadership skills, new hire etc. 

Question: Times that are inappropriate to give feedback 

Answer: i. When a coworker is passing through some challenges 

ii. When the manager is addressing the whole team (It is wrong to point fingers) 

iii. When you are not on good terms with the coworker (It will be perceived as hate) 

Finally, feedback about a coworker has a lot of advantages and can help in an organization. The organization must find the best means to approach it and make the best out of it. You can reach out to us at The Black Sheep Community today! 

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