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  • Writer's picturePeter Yawitz

How can I give feedback to a colleague?

Dear Someone Else’s Dad,

Sometimes I feel that my coworker is a bit sloppy in sending deliverables to clients. The other day he spent a lot of money preparing a campaign for a client, and after he sent it out I told him that I wish he had let me and others give our opinions because I thought the content was not detailed enough. I suggested that he tell the client that he should apologize and say we wanted to rethink the content one more time. He said that recalling what was already presented was unprofessional.

How can I get him to listen to me?

Thanks, Am I A Perfectionist?

Dear Perfectionist,

I wish we could all go back in time and correct what we and what others did wrong. Imagine what the world would look like- no environmental pollution, different election results, I can go on.

Because of time pressures business people often have to make command decisions without getting buy-in from everyone on a team. Telling your coworker not to do something that has already been done seems a bit fruitless. What makes you think that your assessment of “more is better” is the right one? Besides, how would it look to a client if you said you wanted to rethink the campaign, then had a team meeting, the team agreed with your coworker’s original concept, and you want back to the client saying, “Sorry, it’s fine the way it is.”

I’d recommend getting your team together and setting some ground rules about how you approach collaborative work, especially during crunch time. Perhaps you could mandate that only one other person needs to double-check your output for style and substance before sending something out. Or designate a person outside your team to look at your work from an unbiased viewpoint.

Good luck!

Someone Else’s Dad

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