I currently work in a fast paced I.T environment and have to give one of my colleagues feedback (I am not his manager).

He is a very strong developer with excellent work ethics which I have wrote down in his feedback. In the areas for improvement I want to focus on that he can sometimes be overwhelmed and can get stressed from time to time.

My question is, how can I constructively phrase this?

I want the feedback to be constructive and not to come across negative.

  • @teego1967 - This colleague has specifically requested feedback on what they can do better. He is a colleague and a friend who wants to improve their own ability, if I let it "slide" I don't see how he will benefit.
    – user29891
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 13:44
  • There's nothing wrong with providing such feedback when asked personally. I had thought your question was about an "on the record" exercise that is part of an annual review (eg read by others such as managment and HR and part of compensation decisions).
    – teego1967
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 15:14
  • When you say "overwhelmed and can get stressed" what do you mean? Everyone get's overwhelmed and stressed, it's their reaction to it that matters. And how you phrase you feedback should rely heavily on how they react to stress (since, you know, your review could be a stressor.) Could you clarify?
    – Jae Carr
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 23:59

1 Answer 1


You are not coming across as negative. At least not from the feedback you have given as described in your post.

If that developer gets short-tempered as a result of the stress, then you need to point it out because people choose how they react to stimuli including bad stimuli and the developer is reacting badly to the bad stimuli when he could be making a better choice on how he reacts. That is, if he is getting short-tempered and harder to work with from the stress, of course.

Stress does not bring out the best in most of us and reacting positively and constructively to stress was, at least in my case, a matter of reconditioning myself to not let it get to my head. Fortunately, I took care of this business more than 35 years ago.

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