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Dealing with Negative Feedback in the Construction Industry Part 4

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Feedback is an integral part of every occupation, but it is especially vital to the success of contractors because ignoring feedback—negative feedback in particular—can cost owners millions of dollars. Avoiding feedback is a recipe for disaster, and the disputes that arise from poorly managed feedback can require the talents of a Nashville construction dispute lawyer.

When it comes to criticism, it’s best to consider the value of the critique rather than put yourself at odds with a differing opinion that ultimately trumps yours. In parts one, two, and three of this four-part series, the construction attorneys at Cotney Construction Law have been discussing this important topic. Now, we will offer a few more strategies for dealing with negative feedback and using it as a tool to improve your productivity.

Focus on the Specifics

Poorly articulated feedback does more harm than good, so it’s important to focus on specific bits of information whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of criticism. In other words, if you’re the one providing feedback, clearly outline a few easily illustrated points that your worker can process without being overburdened by miscellaneous or unclear information. On the other hand, if you’re receiving feedback, it’s important to pay attention to what your superior is trying to communicate to you. Sometimes, their message can be lost, so ask questions and clarify as needed to cultivate a better understanding of what you need to do to improve.

Critique with Purpose

Remember, feedback for the sake of feedback is relatively useless. You know what you need to get out of your workers, so focus on pursuing a dialogue that drives that point home. One method you can utilize to critique with purpose is to employ a “cause-and-effect” style of feedback. Basically, you will discuss observed practices and then discuss their effect on the overall workplace, whether negative or positive. You can then use this dialogue to discuss how these behaviors can result in problems in the future. This is called “feed-forward.” It is an effective method for providing feedback without admonishing an employee for their past work.

Practice Empathy

Putting yourself in another person’s shoes is a great way to avoid being unfair or hypercritical. If you rely on verbal assaults to address a productivity problem, you’re less likely to reach a solution and more likely to break your worker’s spirit. You don’t want to appear overly critical or heartless, but you have to be firm. Make sure your feedback is constructive and be respectful when talking with an employee. If you are the one coming under fire, be empathetic of the owner’s situation. The project you’re spearheading could be really important to them, so a lackluster performance might be inexcusable in their mind.

If you would like to speak with a Nashville construction dispute attorney, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.