Tips for giving effective feedback  

Feedback is critical for individual learning and team progress.  Because the word “feedback” incites fear in people’s minds, it doesn’t happen as often as it could or should.

You can read more about why people are afraid of feedback but here we want to look at how to be more effective when you give feedback.

We’ve often heard people mock the “sh*t sandwich” model with clear derision in their voices. Other models have their fervent critics as well.

Don’t blame the model

But honestly, the problem isn’t with the model, it’s about HOW it’s being used. The Sandwich model or any feedback can work just fine if you know some fundamentals about giving effective feedback.

Along with any model you use, here are some important tips to help make your feedback conversations successful.

Manage yourself

Of course, feedback should be given in a timely manner not long after someone has used a behaviour that you want to draw their attention to. But immediately is probably not the right time. Why? Because you might be triggered or upset and that is definitely not the time to help someone understand what they could do better.

Here are some other times when you will not be your best when giving feedback.

Don’t give feedback when:

  • you are angry or frustrated
  • you want to “get back at” the person for something that offended you
  • your ego is involved – as in you want to give feedback to show off what you know
  • other people are present (get honest with yourself about this!)
  • the other person is too stressed or in a self-critical space to really listen
  • there isn’t enough time for a proper conversation – don’t do a “hit and run” where you quickly rattle off some feedback and leave them to absorb it on their own without any opportunity for discussion or questions

Feedback isn’t easy and it puts to the test many aspects of emotional intelligence. It is the time when you need to self-regulate, have empathy and a growth mindset.

Tips for enhancing your feedback delivery

  • Calm yourself: take a breather and rein in behaviours like impatience or blame.
  • Mean well: Make sure you are giving feedback for the sake of the other person and their growth.
  • Choose a time when you feel resilient and you can be of service to the other person when they ask questions or even challenge you.
  • Choose a time when the other person will have the mental capacity to listen to you, to think about what you’re saying and to have a conversation with you to create clarity.
  • Help them know what they are doing well. Avoid the negative bias of your brain which focuses on mistakes; try to see what IS working.
  • Find their strengths, point to them and build on those.
  • Learn to authentically express strengths and successes.

With just those steps in mind, you will be a long way towards being a superstar at giving useful, growth-oriented feedback. To learn more about self-regulation and resilience when it really matters invest in Rewired to Relate.

Rewired to Relate

Rewired to Relate

Rewired to Relate develops emotional intelligence. Using a pragmatic approach, participants quickly learn how to identify and manage their own emotional reactions and improve how they handle everyday working challenges and tricky situations in the workplace.

more info