Ideas on How to Give Feedback


In a previous article I suggested to not immediately jump to conclusions and be curious about what someone is saying.  It’s something in the realm of Focused and Global Listening that is mentioned by Agile Coach Lyssa Adkins here and in her book Coaching Agile Teams.

It takes some intuition to not sound patronizing as well.   It’s important to be genuine when delivering feedback and not stilted in any way.  Anything that sounds non-genuine will be noticed immediately and most likely visible through body language of the recipient.

You should feel this as well as the deliverer – when you do feel it make a note to conduct a mini-retrospective on your self or with a colleague to try and improve on delivery – especially if you feel it occurring often.

Toastmasters provide a framework for giving feedback, which I’ve adapted, is as follows:

  1. Ask yourself how you’d like to receive feedback.  Private feedback is appreciated.  Find something they’ve done well as a starting point
  2. Ask!  Understanding where they are coming from can help your focus your feedback
  3. Leave out negative words ‘Never’ and ‘Always’.  Your opinion is one of many.  Limit yourself to the problem at hand and use specific examples and be concise.
  4. Focus on the Performance not the Performer. Remain objective.  Demonstrates confidence that they can do it
  5. Keep it Motivational.  Use the sandwich – Commendation, Recommendation, Commendation. Substitute ‘You did it wrong’ with ‘I know a way to get great results’  Deliver in a friendly tone and smile.  Helping them helps everyone reach their goals.

Have a look using your favourite search engine – you can find videos from Toastmasters about giving feedback.  I found them useful 🙂

Please share your own ideas on giving feedback.  I’m not an expert on anything 🙂


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