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Step 4: Be Specific

It is essential to understand when giving constructive feedback that this is NOT a conversation or dialogue. It is one-way communication to the receiver. Keep in mind that you are redirecting someone back to the goal and/or expectation s/he missed. This means there is no need for discussion. Only when the behavior has recurred does the feedback event become conversational; this will be explained in Section 22.

The DASR Script

The Describe, Acknowledge, Specify, Reaffirm (DASR) script, or using “I” messages, is one of the best techniques in giving critical feedback. Normally, people have a tendency to use “you-blaming” statements, such as “You never turn in your monthly status report on time” or “Why are you always late to our staff meetings?” In contrast to “you-blaming” statements, we need to take responsibility to express our feelings and let the person to whom we’re giving feedback know the effect of his/her behavior on us.


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