Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 9 days left to get one year of Unlimited learning for £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Giving good feedback: Techniques

Apply these techniques to ensure you are giving good feedback.

There are a number of ways we can strive for good feedback.  

Key points to consider are: 

  1. Don’t give overly harsh feedback as it’s unhelpful: Effective criticism and constructive areas for improvement are both ways that we can give feedback to help team members improve. However, this needs to be delivered with a high level of respect, empathy, and care. Negative discussions or aggressive confrontations will lead to animosity within the team and ruin our team’s motivation. 
  2. Give positively framed feedback to help learning: Managers can often be quick to focus on what has gone wrong when delivering feedback, however, it’s very important to also praise good work and behaviour from team members. Giving positive feedback can reinforce good behaviours and help our team remain motivated. 
  3. Teach them to fish: Rather than providing all the answers, exploring possible answers with team members and asking them to reflect on their own performance is one way that we can get better outcomes and strategies when giving feedback. Taking some coaching techniques into account when we are giving feedback is very useful. 
  4. Don’t just focus on strengths: Despite the strengths-based approach being popular amongst leadership researchers currently, research also shows the importance of calling out areas of weakness and addressing ‘fatal flaws’ – leaving this unchecked will result in failure and an erosion of the team’s engagement.  
  5. Leaders can be biased too; be self-aware: It’s very important to recognise that leaders can show bias, both conscious and unconscious. As a leader, recognising that, in fact, we all have inherent biases that we need to manage is a good starting point for giving feedback to our team that is effective and useful. There are many tools to help correct for bias, for example, blind resume reviews and establishing diversity and inclusion committees.  
  6. Don’t avoid negative feedback: Sometimes, we need to have tough conversations with our team members; we should not shirk these issues. As leaders, we owe it to our teams to give them tough feedback and have direct and open conversations with them. They will thank us for it in the long run! 
“Feedback is a gift. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow, and to become the best version of ourselves.” – Kim Scott, author and CEO coach

References 

6. Chappelow, C and McCauley, C. 2019. What Good Feedback Really Looks Like [Online]. Harvard Business Review. [Cited 2022 Dec 22]. Available from: https://hbr.org/2019/05/what-good-feedback-really-looks-like

This article is from the free online

Manage Team Performance

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now