Giving critical feedback is always an hard task. As managers, we always seek to maintain an healthy work environment. It is essential if you want your team to progress. No matter how hard your team members work to achieve productive work, if there are relationship issues there will be an impact on long-term performance.
It is common to see people misinterpret the messages we try to communicate. One of the dangers in providing feedback is that the concerned team member might take more responsibility for himself for the results than we would credit them. This egocentric bias can cause the individual to feel directly attacked : he might believe his identity or personality are the root causes. But, because a task was not completed as it should have been does not mean the team member is incompetent. In fact, the fear that the message can be misinterpreted can easily slow down a manager from providing essential feedback.
Instead of focusing on the risks, managers should focus on the bright side of critical feedback. Giving good feedback is giving your team member an opportunity to grow and to become a better person. It takes courage, but it is very valuable for an individual and, ultimately, for the team itself.
What do you think is making providing critical feedback a hard task for you?