3 Ways to Give Feedback that Works

Teachers use feedback when they correct our schoolwork. People persist in doing wrong things apart from feedback that works.

Improvement requires feedback.

Feedback that works begins with positive intention. Image of a person helping someone over a wall.

How to give feedback that works:

#1. Check intentions.

Feedback that works serves the interests of recipients.

Before giving feedback, ask, “How does this feedback serve the best interest of the recipient?”

Wrong motives for giving feedback:

  1. Frustration with low performance.
  2. Getting something off your chest.
  3. Trying to fix people.
  4. Beating resistance into conformity. Compliance can be coerced, but you can’t force people to change.

Note: If the best interest of an employee doesn’t serve the best interest of your organization, manage them out.

#2. Confirm aspiration.

Feedback for low-aspiration people invites resistance.

Don’t waste your breath giving feedback to people who don’t want it. The issue is aspiration when people don’t want to improve.

Don’t give constructive feedback to:

  1. Know-it-alls.
  2. People who never make mistakes.
  3. Employees who accept mediocrity.

Low-aspiration people disrespect feedback. If you don’t know their aspirations, don’t bother giving feedback.

The desire to improve can be fueled, not imposed.

When aspiration is low, give feedback on aspiration. Try using motivational interviewing techniques to expose this issue.

Feedback that works is a gift. Image of a bouquet being offered to someone.

#3. Determine the win.

Before you do anything, make sure you know what success looks like. What will be true if your feedback reaches its goal?

You’d be astonished how busy people can’t describe the win.

Two questions:

  1. What is the win – in terms of behaviors? If you can’t see it, it doesn’t matter.
  2. How will you tailor feedback conversations to align with clearly defined wins?

Someone gave you feedback that expanded your perception and energized new performance. Be that for others.

Feedback that works is a gift.

How might leaders give feedback that works?

Still curious:

37% of Managers Don’t Give Positive Feedback – How to Stop Complaining