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How to Give Feedback with “I” Statements

Jan 31, 2023
Employee feedback

For many leaders, giving feedback can be difficult. We want our team members to understand our expectations and the importance of meeting them but sometimes it can come out wrong. We often use “you” statements, which can make people feel like they’re being accused of something. But what if I told you there was an alternative? Introducing “I” statements—a simple yet effective way to communicate your expectations and give feedback without coming off as too harsh or accusatory. 

What Are “I” Statements?
You may have heard about the power that “I” statements have in communication but not quite sure what they are. Simply put, an “I” statement is a sentence structure that puts the focus on how you feel rather than on another person's actions or behaviors. Instead of saying “you are not meeting my expectations,” say “I am expecting you to complete the task I assigned to you.” This subtle shift in language makes all the difference because it takes away any accusation that may be felt from a “you” statement and instead allows for more productive dialogue between two parties.

How To Use Them
The best way to use an “I” statement is to start with your feelings and then explain why you feel that way. For example, instead of saying “you're not doing your job well enough,” say something like “I'm feeling frustrated because I'm expecting more from your performance." This opens up a conversation where both parties can discuss their thoughts and feelings openly without fear of judgment or criticism. It also helps foster a more positive relationship between manager and employee, which is essential for any successful team.

Benefits Of Using "I" Statements
Using “I” statements when giving feedback has numerous benefits for both managers and employees alike. By using this type of language, managers can give honest feedback without coming off as too harsh or critical while employees feel respected and appreciated for their work. Additionally, using this type of language encourages open dialogue between both parties so that everyone can work together to achieve success in the workplace.

Respectful feedback that is clear and concise is essential for any leader who wants to be successful in managing a team. "I" statements are a great way to ensure that everyone feels respected while still getting your message across effectively. If you're looking to improve your leadership skills, our bootcamp might be just what you need. Join us today and learn how to give feedback using "I" statements—it could make all the difference in your career!

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