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When it comes to performance reviews, what should you do if your small business employees are unwilling to hear criticism?

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If you own a small business, you know how important it is to give regular, constructive feedback to your employees. Feedback will help you improve their skills, align their goals with yours, and keep them motivated and engaged. However, not all employees are receptive to feedback. Especially if it’s negative or critical. Some people may become defensive, negative, or even angry. This makes the performance evaluation process stressful and unproductive. How can you overcome this challenge and foster a culture of feedback in your small business? Here are some tips for dealing with employees who are resistant to feedback.

understand why
The first step in dealing with feedback resistance is to understand why it occurs. Different employees may have a variety of reasons for rejecting or ignoring feedback, including fear of failure, lack of confidence, low self-esteem, and personal issues. Put yourself in their perspective and identify the sources of their resistance. This will help you customize your feedback approach and avoid triggering negative emotions or reactions. Choose the right time and place
The timing and setting of the feedback session can also influence employee responses. Avoid giving feedback when you are busy, stressed, or distracted, as you may not be able to process it properly or recognize its value. Instead, plan a specific time and location for your feedback session, preferably in a private and comfortable setting. This shows your respect and professionalism and creates a more conducive environment for interaction and learning.

focus on facts and goals
One of the most common mistakes people who give feedback make is confusing facts with opinions, judgments, or assumptions. This can make your feedback sound vague, biased, or personal, which can undermine your credibility and authority. To avoid this, focus your feedback on facts and goals. Support your feedback with specific examples, data, or evidence and connect it to desired outcomes or criteria. This makes feedback more clear, objective, and actionable, and helps employees understand the purpose and benefits.

Balance positive and negative feedback
Another way to reduce feedback resistance is to balance positive and negative feedback. Positive feedback recognizes employees’ strengths, successes, and efforts, increasing their confidence and motivation. Negative feedback highlights areas, skills, or behaviors that need improvement and provides guidance and support. By combining both types of feedback, you can create a more balanced and realistic picture of employee performance and avoid demoralizing or discouraging employees.

Encourage sharing feedback
Finally, you can also overcome resistance to feedback by encouraging the exchange of feedback. Feedback exchange is a two-way process that involves both giving and receiving feedback. By inviting employees to share feedback about their performance, work environment, or needs and expectations, you show that you value their opinions, value their autonomy, and are willing to learn and grow with them. can do. This also helps build trust, relationships, and mutual understanding with employees and fosters a feedback-oriented culture in your small business.

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