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How to give hard feedback at work when you can see the person is trying really hard (but it's not working)

Receiving feedback is just as much a skill as offering feedback. You could do everything right, but the person you give feedback to doesn't seem to get it.

Before becoming overly frustrated, it's crucial to emphasize the importance of mutual understanding in the feedback process. Is there a shared purpose? Do your intentions align with the individual's and the team's goals? If not, it may be that the person you are giving feedback to needs help understanding the why, which is a key part of fostering a feedback culture.

Before you give feedback, it's important to ensure the person you are giving it to understands the potential for growth and alignment. One example is, "Considering your aspirations, let's explore how tackling these challenges can aid your growth, though it's also important to consider if this role aligns with your strengths and career path." This approach can inspire and motivate, opening the door to a candid conversation about fit and future possibilities.

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This approach also opens the door to a candid conversation about fit and future possibilities, either within the current path or elsewhere. Creating a feedback culture means providing constructive criticism and nurturing an environment where feedback is actively sought, shared, and utilized for growth.

If it STILL is not working, it could be time to acknowledge that the job is not the right fit. Feedback is a tool for development and alignment, leading to better employee and organization outcomes for both the employee and the organization.

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