Getting further with feedback

Ken Blanchard said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.

If you aren’t giving and receiving feedback your commitment to improvement and success is shallow at best. You’re stunting yourself and your organization.

Getting Started:

Giving good feedback doesn’t begin with talking. It begins with listening, asking questions, and watching with intention. Don’t assume you’re perceptions are right. Try the “5 Why” method developed by Sakichi Toyoda of Toyota.


Intentionally choose to focus on behaviors you want repeated, stopped, or done differently. If you can’t see it, define it, explain it and illustrate it, don’t give feedback. Saying things like you’re lazy or you have a bad attitude will be followed by, “No I’m not,” and, “No I don’t.” You’ve created an adversarial conversation.


Give specific examples concerning specific behaviors that have specific outcomes. Saying, “Good job,” is nice but it isn’t good feedback.

5 to 1:

When giving negative feedback avoid extreme language like always, never, all the time, and worst. Keep in mind it takes five positive comments to balance one negative.

Public or Private:

Feel free to give positive feedback in public but remember the down side may be jealousy or resentment from others who feel overlooked. On the other hand, usually give negative feedback in private.

Give negative feedback publicly for public violations, defiance, or intentional public insolence. The rule of thumb is the extent and context of offenses determines the extent and context of your response. Treat others with reciprocity. At the same time, don’t over react.

A note on reciprocity:

Give others the benefit of the doubt until they prove they are malicious. Be gracious; err on the side of generosity. After they cross the line, reflect their orientation back to them. For example, don’t back down from those who are aggressive. If you do, aggressive employees will walk all over you.


What feedback tips can you add?