How good are you at Giving Feedback?


How good are you at giving feedback?

Sometimes when we want to move on or are not sure of the progress we are making, have doubts about the validity of something we have done,  it can be really helpful to get feedback from someone not directly involved in the situation.Giving honest feedback

However, giving feedback is not always as easy as it seems, especially as many people tend to confuse feedback and criticism.

Feedback or Criticism?

My definition of feedback is pointing out certain of their behaviours, thoughts and ideas to someone which might be contributing to a difficulty in their lives. But what is really important is not so much WHAT I am pointing out but how I do so. This I believe is the main difference between Feedback and Criticism. Criticism is a harsher form of telling someone what I think they should be doing and why something is not working. It is less pointing out in order to help them improve but more making a statement about what you feel is not acceptable. Criticism often does not leave space for the other person to reflect and discuss the issue at hand.

For example, which statement feels more comfortable for you:

“I feel that the way you presented your case made me feel that you might have needed to spend more time on what you said were the key points. I did not really understand or see the benefits which you said were obvious.”


“It was obvious that you had not spent enough time preparing yourself for this presentation. What you said were key points were not really relevant and you did not show any benefits”. feedback-796140__180

Why Give Feedback?

Giving feedback ought to be helpful enough to support the person receiving it to revise what they have done and said and find ways to improve on them. Taking this a step further, useful feedback may even point out ways to correct what is not good, relevant or appropriate; better feedback would encourage the person to find these ways for themselves.

Dos and Don’ts When Giving Effective Feedback

Here are some dos and don’ts of giving effective feedback:

  1. Use the “I” form
  2. Always listen to what the other person has to say first.
  3. Ask for their thoughts and opinions on the issue
  4. Avoid generalisations like “That was good/bad” but rather be specific
  5. Avoid comparing their performance with others
  6. Give validating as well as corrective feedback
  7. The feedback session ought to be interactive whenever possible
  8. Give the person the opportunity to respond to what you have said.
  1. Don’t attack the person you are giving the feedback to
  2. Don’t focus on personality traits – ” you seem superficial”
  3. Don’t give feedback if the person feels or appears to feel threatened
  4. Don’t focus solely on what you feel did not go well
  5. Don’t lecture the person unless this is appropriate to the situation

Here are a couple of resources which might be helpful if you need have a difficult conversation, or are not sure how to go about giving feedback.  

feedback men

How good are you at giving feedback?

We all need feedback to be able to improve on what we are doing. Learning to do it from the heart and not from a place of judgement  and criticism will help the person receiving the feedback to accept it much easier. After all you have their best interests at heart when giving feedback right? Has this article been helpful to you? Do you have any tips on giving feedback you would like to share? What do you think about giving feedback? Can you remember times when you got feedback and it was helpful, as opposed to instances when you were criticised?

Please share your comments and thoughts. I am sure they will be of benefit to many.

See you around


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3 thoughts on “How good are you at Giving Feedback?

  1. Excellent post! Love the Do’s and Don’ts especially the “do” of using I and instead of you. Unfortunately, I can be guilty of using “you” when giving feedback. Your website is great! Looking forward to seeing more!

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