You’re 99.99% guaranteed to not like every single part of every single person. But don’t let this discourage you. To become good friends / have a good working relationship with someone, you should be able to talk about anything.
There are lots of feedback frameworks: McKinsey’s model, Stanford method, SKS method, etc. The one that has worked out for me is OEPS, which stands for:
- I “observed” that you did X.
Be specific and focus on the action / behavior, rather than the person’s character. Ensure that it doesn’t seem like a personal attack. Select only one observation at a time.
e.g. I observed that you didn’t come into the office the whole of last week, and we didn’t have any face time together.
- The “effect” on me was Y.
Focus on how the action made you feel. Don’t talk about the effect on other people.
e.g. I felt confused and unsure of our relationship. I don’t know what you are working on, and we aren’t able to discuss issues in real-time.
Let the individual respond, you stay silent. This is a bit difficult to do, and might take some practice.
- I “suggest” that in future, you do Z.
Keep in mind that it should be concrete and actionable.
e.g. If you could come into the office more often, I will feel more assured that we are both on the same page, and we can discuss things in real-time. I would also feel like you are equally committed to making this work, and that we are both in this together.
Some more examples in practice:
- I observed that you were late to our meeting this morning.
It made me feel that you don’t value my time.
In the future, I would recommend you plan on arriving early to meetings and call my mobile phone if a delay can’t be avoided.
- I observed that you are checking-in on my progress every 10 minutes.
It makes me feel like you don’t trust me to complete the project. Also, I can’t maintain my focus on the task this way.
In the future, I suggest we agree upon specific milestones and check-in points to ensure the project will be completed on time.
For the best results, try to have weekly feedback sessions so that nothing’s bottled up inside and issues are sorted out quickly. Remember that feedback is a two-way street. You should also receive feedback graciously, and be willing to admit when you’ve made a mistake.
If you’ve come this far, I’d also recommend you to read this highly-informative piece from one of my close friends: Negative feedback comes from a good place