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Giving and Receiving Feedback

 Helpful Hints for Giving Positive Feedback


• Thank/Acknowledge frequently – people like to hear that they are doing a good job

• As soon as possible – the sooner you provide feedback, the more likely the individual will connect the feedback to their behavior

WHERE? • In public, when possible – positive feedback is good news, and should be heard by all

• Recognize their behavior and how it is helping you, the team, the institution and themselves

• Encourage continued behaviors – make sure they know what to do in the future. “Continue following up with 4 partners a day and you will continue to be successful” is better than, “Keep up the good work”

HOW? • Happily!

 Helpful Hints for Giving Negative Feedback


• When the pattern of performance dictates – everyone is allowed to have a bad day. However, consistently poor performance requires feedback

• As soon as possible – the sooner you provide feedback, the more likely the individual will connect the feedback to their behavior

WHERE? • In private, whenever possible – negative feedback is bad news, and should be heard in private. This will reduce the chances that the person will try to “save face”

• Discuss specific behaviors, not personal traits. “You have shown up late for three project meetings” is better than, “You are not committed to this project”

• Describe what you saw or heard, not your judgment or evaluation. “Your presentation ran 45 minutes, 15 minutes over time” is better than “You did not prepare properly for the meeting”

• Emphasize the impact of the behaviors on you, rather than in the third person. “Running over on your presentation meant I had to re-structure the rest of the meeting” is better than, “People don’t like it when a presenter runs late”

• Clearly define changes you want made and desired outcomes, “Next time, limit your presentation to fit the scheduled time slot”


• Calmly – don’t provide feedback when angry

• Listen to their side of the story

Helpful Hints for Receiving Feedback

Consider the value in feedback – most feedback, even negative feedback, can be valuable. It provides a different opinion, and opens our eyes to how others see us. If we fail to integrate feedback into our decision making processes (i.e., how we will act in the future) we miss out on a valuable source of information.

Keep the communication channels open – your reaction to feedback may influence future feedback opportunities. To ensure that you continue to receive feedback:

o Say “thank you.”

o Ask for clarification if you are unclear about the feedback.

o Maintain eye contact.

Consider the source of the feedback – people provide feedback for many reasons. It can be helpful and developmental, or it can be negative and demeaning. Different people have different motivations for providing feedback. Consider the source of the feedback before deciding how much you will value the input

Fight the inclination to deny negative feedback – it is easy to overreact to feedback, and deny that you made a mistake. Instead of jumping to a denial, listen to the feedback before responding. Don’t:

o Immediately try to explain what you did or why you did it.

o Defend your intent.

Don’t transfer your anger/frustration to someone else – once you’ve received feedback, find a healthy way to vent any frustration you may be feeling. Don’t take it out on friends or family members.

Request additional feedback – check back to assess your progress: Ask people who have provided you with feedback – “how am I doing?”

Plan for the future – decide how you will use the feedback to improve your performance next time.



Last Updated: 4/15/10