For Feedback to work it has to be specific and concrete.
That means for feedback to fail, all you have to do is make it overly general and ambiguous.
“I love when you send me these instructions in the exact order I need to enter them” is infinitely better than “I hate the way you send these instructions, it just sucks.”
A better follow-up to the second example might go,
“I don’t know if you know this, but I have to re-order the information whenever you send it this way. It adds a significant amount of time to my end of the process. If I share with you the order I need it in to move the fastest, can you send the same information to me – just in that format?”
It’s specific and concrete. It’s tied into context with a recent action. It has a common and memorable goal that both parties understand.
For feedback to fail it either throws a person off track or nudges them into the wrong direction. Ineffective feedback also fails to identify any common goal.
For feedback to work, it must nudge a person back on track and towards meeting a common goal.
That’s not so hard now is it?
h/t Edward Schein’s Helping