When delivering feedback that may be tough to hear or that you really want someone to listen to and follow, it can be helpful to frame your feedback. In other words, the goal is to create an environment where the person knows the piece of feedback you are about to deliver is important and requires action. Creating dialog about the feedback you will deliver can increase the impact of that feedback.
For example, you could ask questions that force the person to agree that they want to hear the feedback. This includes questions like, “Are you sure you want to hear this?”, “Are you sure you are really ready for it?”, “Is there any reason I should be holding back the feedback I have for you?” This creates demand-pull and forces the other person to request the feedback.
Another strategy is to connect disagreeing with the feedback to harming your relationship. I would only suggest that you use this strategy if the other person not listening and responding to your feedback would indeed harm how you feel about them. To do this, you could say, “I am not sure if our relationship can withstand this feedback I am about to give but I think it is so essential to your performance that I am going to give it to you anyway.”
You could also ask the person to write down the feedback you are about to give because it is that important. If it is unusual for you to suggest writing something down, than this small request for increased effort around the feedback will make it seem more valuable. Asking someone to write the feedback down has the added benefit of creating a record.
Another way to create some demand-pull around feedback is to overload the person with positive feedback. Once you have gotten to about 10 pieces of positive feedback, most people will ask if there is anything they can do better.
There are probably other ways to create some demand-pull around the feedback you are planning to deliver. If it’s really important, than it’s worth taking the time to think about how you will deliver it to produce maximum impact.
What do you do to frame your feedback?