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  • Does your feedback help people change?
    Does your feedback help people change?
  • How are you coming across to your boss?
    How are you coming across to your boss?
  • Can you allow discussion and still keep control?
    Can you allow discussion and still keep control?
  • Do you frequently get into arguments?
    Do you frequently get into arguments?
  • Are your conversations achieving what you want?
    Are your conversations achieving what you want?
  • Are you getting the best out of your people?
    Are you getting the best out of your people?

Might your need to be more effective at giving feedback
be met by this London UK based management training course
called Skills with People?

Yes if you agree with any of the the following 

  • Sometimes it’s your job to correct people. But you don’t like doing it because it seems impolite – as if you’re not treating them with respect.
  • If there was a way to correct them firmly but politely you’d find it very useful.
  • You don't like having to appraise people's performance and are always glad when appraisals are over. Far from improving your relationships appraisal sessions seem to put them under strain. You accept it’s got to be done but don’t feel you have the skills to do it well.
  • Sometimes you have to be tough with people, but you're not confident you can do it without causing offence. You'd love to be able to be tough on the issue yet soft on the person.
  • You wish you knew of a tactful way to give criticism.
  • You realise your criticism has failed when it puts people on the defensive.
  • You rarely give much praise, but you wonder if you need to praise more in order to be more encouraging.

What you'll take away from this feedback training course

Your feedback and criticism will be more influential. We’ll show you how to balance generous praise with clear and tough criticism. In other words we'll help you develop the art of constructive criticism. It's difficult to succeed as a manager without being able to do this well. 

Free exploratory coaching session

INTERESTED?

If so, you can have a FREE exploratory coaching session. It'll give you a foretaste of what you can get from the course. You make no commitment to proceed beyond this until you're sure this training is relevant to your own particular need.

How to accept this offer

Simply contact us for a preliminary chat and to arrange your free exploratory coaching session. 

What this session will do for you

In this session we'll aim to give you something practical you can use right away that'll help you handle a difficult situation more successfully at work. All you need do to prepare for this session is think about the kinds of situations you want to be able to handle more successfully.

FAQs

You'll find answers to many of your questions about the content and method of this course under FAQs (in the main menu above).

How the skills you'll practise on this course
will make you much more effective
at giving feedback and criticism

How can I improve my feedback?

Just follow the simple practical guidelines given below, and you'll immediately find your feedback is better received. The guidelines are followed by some practical hints which give an idea of the approach you'll learn and practise on this course.

There's a world of difference between constructive feedback and personal criticism. It puts people's backs up when in the name of feedback they hear opinion, judgement, generalisation, unsought advice, or questions implying criticism. Our feedback training will enable you to be much more specific, factual, generous spirited and constructive with your feedback.

How to give constructive feedback and criticism 

You can make a start on improving the quality and effectiveness of your feedback before coming on the training course. Here's how:-

Always start with praise

To give praise, think of something specific that the person has said or done that you feel good about, and give three pieces of specific information about it:-

  1. The fact that you feel good, e.g., pleased, satisfied, impressed, full of admiration.
  2. Secifically what you feel good about.
  3. Why it makes you feel good.

Then pause and pay close attention. Allow time for your praise to sink in and for the other person to respond. Do not be in a hurry to start the criticism. Go on to the criticism only when you are sure he is in a receptive state of mind.

Then give your criticism

Here's how. Think of one thing you feel bad about, and give 3 specific pieces of information:-

  1. The fact that you feel bad, e.g., frustrated, concerned, dissatisfied, alarmed. 
  2. What you feel bad about.
  3. Why it makes you feel bad.

Then pause and pay close attention. Allow time for your criticism to sink in and for the other person to respond.

When you try out this method of giving criticism, pay close attention to how the other person is receiving it. Make your praise so specific, honest and generous that he feels genuinely approved of, and do your utmost to make the whole experience highly motivating for him.

Most people are amazed at how well this method works when they put it to the test. But don’t be hard on yourself. Practise in easy situations before moving on to difficult ones. On the Skills with People course we'll give you a great deal of coaching and feedback to help you develop your confidence you can use this approach effectively.

Practical hints showing the approach we'll help you learn and practise on this feedback training course

But surely, if I follow praise with criticism won’t I end being negative – and isn’t that wrong?

The key is – be generous. If you do a generous enough job with the praise, the criticism will also be received as positive. It will not be necessary to follow it with praise.

Is it really necessary always to start with praise?

Yes, it’s a pretty good rule of thumb. Otherwise your criticism, however kindly meant and well done, is likely to put them on the defensive, and then it is much harder to get through to them.

How do I know when I have given enough praise?

The answer is, when they feel genuinely approved of. So be generous. Don’t stop at one piece of praise when you can find two. Don’t stop at two when you can find three. Convince them you are genuinely in their fan club. The result is electric. Imagine how it would feel if someone genuinely treated you like this.

What if I can't think of anything to praise them for?

Only when you suspend critical thoughts can you see the other person in a more generous light. How can you do this? By making a conscious effort to separate their perceived weaknesses from their strengths, and by setting aside their perceived weaknesses in order to focus your mind on their strengths.

What if I resent them too much to think generously about them?

You can't think generously while carrying a grudge. Grudges, or grievances, weigh heavily on us. But no one can make us carry them. We're free to let them go if we want to.

Am I not in danger of being patronising when I give praise?

Yes you probably will sound patronising unless you (a) make the praise very specific, and (b) say only what you sincerely mean. If you do these two things there's no danger of being patronising.

Why is the PAUSE so necessary when using this method?

It gives time for your words to sink in, and for the other person to respond. Most people are in a rush. Don’t be. This way of communicating works better slowly.

Must I always follow praise with criticism?

No, of course not. It works better if you give more praise than criticism. It also works well to praise often with no criticism attached – people will then be more accepting of your praise.

Yet more reasons why you might benefit
from this feedback and criticism training

  • You tend not to give much praise, for fear of being thought insincere or patronising.
  • You feel awkward doing appraisals of people.
  • You find it difficult to criticise or give critical feedback without antagonising.
  • You have difficulty confronting problems with people and discussing unpleasant facts.
  • You've never learned how to give constructive feedback.
  • You need to develop your performance management skills.
  • Sometimes people need to be confronted, and can benefit from tough, firm and clear feedback. You need to be more confident at doing this.
  • Sometimes you have to be tough to be kind.
  • You find it hard to broach a difficult subject, or confront a difficult problem.
  • You need to get better feedback yourself, but don't know how to ask for it in a way that will make it specific and helpful, because the people from whom you need it are not very good at giving it.
  • Sometimes you need to give voice to strong feelings, give correction, or criticism. express dissatisfaction, complain more effectively. And you'd like a tactful way of doing it.
  • You need to to be better at helping people face hard facts.
  • You need to be more generous with your praise.

Is there more information on this website
relevant to giving feedback and criticism?

Yes. You might also find our page on assertiveness relevant and helpful.

We love helping you communicate successfully

By giving you communication skills that'll transform even your most challenging relationships and interactions.

That's the purpose of Skills with People, our training course for managers and professional people at all levels. Thousands have benefited from this course.

Video Introduction

What People Have Said About The Course

Feedback from participant's boss - head of projects in Heinz

He now gains support through his willingness to involve people more and take them with him.

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Prudential director

He is a lot more confident. At the last meeting of our business unit leaders he fully led the meeting and dealt with people very well.

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Shell International senior manager

He is showing far more self-awareness and more restraint in potentially confrontational situations. He is far more aware of the impact his actions and ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Glaxo SmithKline research director

He has made good progress in two areas: 1. team leadership - he listens with empathy to others well and considers their standpoint as well as his own. ...

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The wife of a participant

"Just thinking about last night’s conversation and it’s bringing tears to my eyes – it’s what I’ve always wanted: to be able to talk with you like tha ...

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Leisure Centre Manager

The most useful part of the course was learning how to convey my disappointment with a member of staff without demotivating them, without making them ...

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Senior Resource Consultant, Shell International

“Skills with People” has helped me deal with conflict situations.  It has helped me to diffuse tension in meetings and convert pushback into alignment ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - Chairman of White Clarke Group

He has greatly improved his ability to manage a situation. He listens more and uses that information to convince. A good example is the .... group, wh ...

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Learning & Development Coordinator - The Entertainer

I can't recommend this course enough. It has genuinely been the most impactful course I have ever completed. Understanding that I can be assertive w ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Merck Sharp & Dohme medical director

She feels more confident in tackling people and has been impressed with her new found techniques, e.g., in dealing with members of the marketing depar ...

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National Training Index* report on the course

"From delegates reports we have identified Skills with People is a 'highspot' among UK business courses. Delegates mentioned as most helpful the enha ...

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Workshop Manager, Professional Plant Services

I now find it easier to have awkward conversations. (As a result of how he has changed several more people from his company are asking to attend the c ...

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Project Quality Engineer (self funding)

A lesson for life! The power of effective communication is incredible when one masters the skills "listen with empathy" / "speak assertively". Defin ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a WS Atkins director

Now he actively listens, probes, asks for clarifications and does not assume anymore he knows the answer.

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson & Johnson marketing director

She has become increasingly aware and focussed on ensuring she is gaining cooperation from colleagues by the way she approaches situations. E.g., Meet ...

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Sports Centre Manager

I feel that my relationship with other attendees has improved massively following the session. I'd say 9/10 for what I've got from the course as I sa ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - A Philips Semiconductors director

To what extend do I think his training need has been satisfied? Completely. I have been approached by 4 peers to tell me that they could see a very po ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson Matthey Catalysts (Germany) senior manager

There has been a noticeable improvement in the performance of this customer service engineer. He is much more succinct now than he was before. He was ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Kimberley-Clark marketing director

He is now aware of his need to control his direct approach. He was sometimes too assertive. I think he is now well balanced in this respect.

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Fundraising Officer, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)

A very intimate training which will make anyone reflect on how best to engage with colleagues when confronted with difficult situations.

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Senior Engineer, Qualcomm

An unbelievable experience, highly motivating training and one of the few which stays forever in your mind. A tangible impact to your life and workin ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Billiton director

He's obviously making a positive effort and it does show. People used to be scared of him. No longer.

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Golf Club Manager

Ten out of ten for the course for me personally. I think I would have resigned if it hadn't been for the course.

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Thank you from a participant

I wanted to let you know that I have secured a new role.  I had to go through an assessment centre and one challenge was to negotiate with a 'belliger ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson & Johnson finance director

He has made excellent progress in the management of his team. He has ensured key stakeholders are involved in decision-making and has gone to great le ...

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Theatre Manager

Managing to confront them but still maintain their cooperation and support. Previously I was either not confronting or confronting and ending up with ...

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EHS advisor (environmental health and safety), Johnson Matthey

This is the best non-techincal course the company has ever put me on because it's the most useful. 

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Feedback from participant's boss - an HSBC investment director

I have had three unprompted comments from different team members and colleagues who have been surprised at the consideration he has shown in helping s ...

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Examples of Training Needs Met

Very diligent but hated dealing with difficult people Read More...
Technically very sound but lacking persuasive skills Read More...
Forceful communicator who created friction Read More...
Well intentioned but demoralising his team Read More...
Allowed his meetings to get out of hand Read More...
Enormous enthusiasm but little sensitivity Read More...
Very logical but not creating enough rapport Read More...
Flying high but creating a tense atmosphere Read More...
Had a positive attitude but gave a negative impression Read More...
Not delegating or developing others Read More...
Lots of energy and ideas but little attention for his clients Read More...
Preparing for a more challenging role Read More...
Being more assertive would help career go better Read More...
Difficulty communicating with non-technical people Read More...
Respected specialist who was too quiet at meetings Read More...

Need To Know The Quick Facts?