How I improved at giving negative feedback

Oli Petry

Director Partner Experience Lifecycle at Netflix



"I used to be very bad at giving negative feedback. I once hired a friend of mine and I wasn't happy about his performance, but I had to tell him, simply because I cared about him and because he was my friend."

Actions taken

"It was hard as I wasn't used to giving this type of feedback, but it came from the heart because I really wanted him to succeed. I told him 'I truly think you can be better and I owe it to you to give you frank feedback'. It's never enjoyable to hear that you are underperforming, but he was very grateful as he managed to improve after that."

Lessons learned

"Feedback can be hard to give and I believe the easiest way to start giving negative feedback is to start by giving it to people you really care about, who you truly want to see succeed. It's much better to give negative feedback early on than to wait until someone is on a performance plan and is in line to be dismissed. Not everyone has hired a friend in their team, so I'd suggest starting with your top performers. Feedback is a gift, so remember that there is nothing worse than not getting sincere feedback."

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Oli Petry

Director Partner Experience Lifecycle at Netflix

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