How IT Managers Can Deliver Negative Feedback Effectively

One of the toughest duties managers in information technology take on is delivering negative feedback to the IT contractors who report to them.  IT jobs can be high stress and difficult in their own right, so the best IT professionals in management positions know how to give negative feedback in a way that does not exacerbate any existing stressful circumstances.  There are a couple of major things to seriously consider so that IT consultants receive negative feedback in a constructive way.

IT managers should start by making sure that negative feedback is given in a conversation full of positive feedback, as well.  Starting with an honest, genuine compliment will put the IT professional at ease.  Ending the conversation with one will also help keep the entire experience a positive, constructive one.  People tend to remember endings and beginnings better than any other part of a conversation.

The second thing to consider is how the negative feedback can be approached.  If you approach it as an issue that you as the manager and your report need to deal with together, things will be better.  Giving the report the feeling that you’re truly on their team will make them feel more open to finding solutions.  Speaking of solutions, it’s also important that the conversation revolve around those.  It’s important to identify the problem, but making sure it gets fixed and doesn’t happen in the future is far more important.  Note that both of these tips require a face-to-face interaction.  You can’t create a team and solution-oriented feeling over an email in the way that you could in person or on the phone (at the very least).


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AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.