A Pre-Feedback Worksheet: From Finding Fault to Useful Feedback

Fault-finding is an island of security for incompetent leaders. But, feedback launches into the deep.

Fault-finding makes:

  1. Weak leaders feel powerful.
  2. Dumb leaders feel smart. 
  3. Unworthy leaders feel deserving.
  4. Small leaders feel big.
  5. Insecure leaders feel safe.

Fault-finding is a base form of intelligence.

A pre-feedback worksheet – from finding fault to useful feedback: 

Create the feedback mindset with a pre-feedback worksheet. 

Write the recipient’s name on the top of a sheet of paper. Yes, use pen and paper. Writing is thinking.

#1. List the praiseworthy qualities and behaviors of the person about to receive feedback.

  1. They arrive on time.
  2. They’re pleasant to be around.
  3. They’re great at … .
  4. When you hired them, you saw … .
  5. They’ve learned how to … .

#2. Imagine the future of the feedback recipient. What happens if the negative behavior continues?

#3. Record at least three ways feedback might benefit the recipient?

#4. List at least three things you don’t want to do during the feedback conversation. For example:

  1. Attack the person.
  2. Blame.
  3. Use “always” or “never”.

#5. List at least five things you want to do during the feedback conversation. For example:

  1. Express confidence.
  2. Show respect.
  3. Care.
  4. Stay open to options for the path forward.
  5. Provide support.

*Determine how you will do the things on your list.

Commit to helping others succeed or you’ll end up disliking your team.

Fault-finding or feedback:

Angry feedback is interpreted as fault-finding. Feedback isn’t venting or therapy for the giver.

Any feedback that begins with, “I have to get something off my chest,” misses the point.

Fault-finders look through the wrong end of the telescope when reflecting on themselves and the right end when looking at others.

Fault-finders circle darkness. Feedback presses for light. Useful feedback rallies for improvement.

Fault-finders lack passion for growth. Feedback includes commitment to support. Never give feedback unless you’re committed to the recipient’s success.

What suggestions do you have for a pre-feedback worksheet?

What’s the difference between finding fault and giving feedback?