Whenever I'm working with managers during a workshop on how to coach and give feedback, I'll throw out the following question for them to answer… “The thought of having to give feedback makes me feel...?” The majority will say, "It makes me feel anxious or it gives me anxiety." But there's always one or two in the room that will answer it differently. Some will say, "Makes me feel like I have an opportunity to recognize my employees."
Now go back and look at the question. Notice I never said what type of feedback. What’s unfortunate is most people go to the ‘dark side’ of feedback. Then there are managers who understand that feedback is a tale of two stories, both constructive and positive. That's because they get it. They understand that giving feedback is a critical part of helping employees to develop and become even more successful. They don't view it as all negative, but that perspective comes with experience.
Giving balanced feedback, including mastering the skill of giving tough feedback, doesn’t happen overnight and never gets easier. But in time, with a little guidance, practice and being consistent, you will gain the confidence to have these discussions more effectively – and your people will benefit greatly from it.