Giving Negative feedback-Avoid a toxic workplace!

toxic workplace signBig boss-litle employeeEveryone likes to know how they’re doing.  There is a very wise saying and that deserves repeating…Praise in public, blame in private.  Simple, yes?  But why do so many managers/bosses forget this!

boss yelling

I was caught while the manager while she gave an employee a very public reaming out.  I just happened to be there, picking up a friend for lunch.  To her credit, she didn’t yell back.  She simply requested to speak with her manager later, and then we went to lunch.

She told me later,her talk with her manager went like it always goes.  She got praise, then the negative feedback, then another positive thing. This can create a toxic work environment. She got sandwiched!

female boss yellingThese are 3 things NOT to do when delivering negative feedback:

Many bosses ascribe to the theory of starting with the positive, but, then giving some negative feedback then end on a positive note!

  1.  Don’t be mislead!  After the employee hears, you did this well,but…all that came before hearing the BUT is so much white noise-like the teacher in the Peanuts comics-Blah,blah, blah, blah…Why waste your breath when that but…negates it?  And the praise that comes after the feedback-that’s definitely suspect!  It just lacks sincerity and frankly, anyone who sandwiches-loses credibility.
  2. Others play the “Hope Game”.  They prefer to say nothing and hope you do better next time.  That’s just not fair and signs of a poor manager.  You need to know areas in which you need to improve.  Without that feedback, you’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes.  No one likes to give negative feedback, but that’s management’s job!
  3. Then, there’s the manager that ONLY gives negative feedback!  This can demoralize an employee.  Another instance of a toxic workplace.  Who wants to come to work and always hear the blame?


  1. What should you do when management needs to give negative feedback?  The manager meets the employee alone in her office. The manager gives specific information -the event,behavior or performance.  Then, that manager explains the challenges that makes.  The employee now knows what went wrong and the manager asks the behavior change.  The manager is supportive and listens.
  2. At another time, the manager can discuss the employees positive contributions to the team…in another meeting.

How do you handle negative feedback?  Hit reply and let us know.


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