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5 Business Skills Every IT Pro Must Master (Collection) by Leigh Thompson, Jerry Weissman, Terry J. Fadem, Stephen Robbins, Robert Follett

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Truth 16. When Giving Feedback: Criticize Behaviors, Not People

It seems pretty simple, but it’s amazing how many managers ignore this advice when giving feedback to employees: Criticize employee behaviors, not the people themselves. Successful feedback focuses on specific behavior and is impersonal.

Feedback should be specific rather than general. Managers should avoid making statements such as “You have a bad attitude” or “I’m really impressed with the good job you did.” These types of statements are vague and, while they provide information, they don’t tell the employee enough to correct the “bad attitude” or on what basis it was concluded that a “good job” had been done. For clarity, here are some examples of what good feedback is like: “Bob, ...

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