There are many people that advise that a food truck owners should give tough feedback immediately, preferably within 24 hours of an incident. But next time you have to provide constructive criticism to one of your food truck staff members, consider sleeping on it first.
Many think tough feedback is always negative, like bad news. It implies the recipient has messed up or done something wrong. That’s not necessarily true. Tough by definition is “unyielding, firm, durable.” So it’s more useful to think of tough feedback in that context.
Why Wait Before Giving Tough Feedback
Your input will be far more effective, and better received, if you aren’t feeling agitated. Of course there will be items that need immediate discussion, but if the feedback doesn’t revolve around employee or customer safety put some distance between the offending action and the feedback to gain perspective.
You may need to calm down over several days. This will give you time to prepare, consider the other’s point of view, and deliver the message in a calm and helpful way.
Write It Down
Giving someone tough feedback requires you to get to the point so that the focus and intention is not lost. Spending some time to list what the real issues were and how it might impact our work as a team will be helpful. It will force you to hone in on what needs to be addressed while eliminating any verbal noise.
Don’t Sugar Coat Tough Feedback
Never sugar coat tough feedback. When forced to deliver bad news to my team, be upfront with it. Don’t tap dance around, don’t minimize, just tell the truth. Nine times out of ten, your food truck staff will appreciate your honesty and their desire to trust you as a manager will increase.
Tie Consequences To Actions
When delivering tough feedback, many food truck owners don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. The best way to do this is to review how their actions led to a specific consequence and not insult their intelligence, or competence.
The Bottom Line
The ability to give tough feedback ranks as one of the most important and difficult of leadership skills, and giving it isn’t fun. However, when delivered correctly, it can be the most valuable feedback you can give to an employee. Following these tips will help you deliver that feedback like a leader while motivating your employees.