Giving Feedback

Giving Feedback

Why You May Be Terrible At Giving Feedback

Kristi Hedges is a leadership coach, speaker and author of  The Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others. She blogs at In her article, Why You May Be Terrible At Giving Feedback, she shares “Last year, I wrote about the mistakes that managers commonly make in giving feedback. I discussed how nuanced the process can be as we navigate the amount of directness, specificity, setting, and our own desired outcomes. I’m in a conversation about feedback nearly every day, trying to help people develop strategies to provide it to direct reports, peers, and even up the chain. No matter the level, we all struggle with how to give it. (And just when we think we have it figured out, someone comes along who tests our theories.)”

“Here are some reasons why providing feedback can be so difficult. See what resonates with you.

  1. We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.
  2. We’re concerned that the feedback might be taken the wrong way.
  3. We forget to give positive feedback.
  4. We’re not sure what the effects of our feedback will be.
  5. We don’t know how to approach it.

Finding the right approach to feedback can be what stops us from giving it – especially with so many other items on our plates. Having a model to guide you can be helpful. I like MIT’s simple, effective four-step model for giving feedback:

  1. Provide context for the topic at hand. Be as specific and timely as possible.
  2. Describe the behavior for them. Paint a picture as if you’re retelling a video recording but avoid drawing conclusions.
  3. Explain the impact of their behavior. What were the results of the behavior, positive and negative?
  4. Discuss clear next steps for how the behavior should be improved or altered. Explain the importance of changing the behavior and the positive results it will bring about.”

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Keep Charging & Shine!
Christy Geiger, Executive/Leadership Coach,