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Today we are going to talk about techniques to give the gift of feedback so that it’s constructive and empowering. Find the show notes on my website at

Do you recall a time when you knew that you should provide constructive feedback to a team member, but you postponed or avoided it?

I suspect most of us have been there at some point in our career. For me, I dreaded it because it can, at times, feel uncomfortable.

Sure, delivering positive accolades is easy, it’s the other stuff that’s not so easy.

Feedback, when shared effectively, provides an individual the information that is needed to improve and to grow. It is an opportunity to discuss solutions and make positive change.

Feedback is a gift, but how you frame and deliver it is critical.

Providing constructive, timely feedback is critical to the development of an individual. Putting it off could compound the issue and possibly lead to a bigger problem.

I recently interviewed a woman senior leader in Supply Management who shared with me her 8 tips to delivering constructive feedback in a useful and positive way:

  1. Be intentional with your feedback
    Make sure your feedback is coming from a place of helping someone improve their performance.
  2. Be timely with your feedback
    The work should be fresh in the mind so that the feedback is relevant and actionable.
  3. Focus on specifics
    Share meaningful facts to put the feedback into context.
  4. Start with what is working first
    Share the positive before “what can be done better”. Keep it balanced.
  5. Discuss the behavior, the impact, and action steps that can be taken
    Describe the impact of a specific behavior and possible steps to address.
  6. Build a bridge
    Focus on the issue with the intent to help the individual grow rather than showing them what is wrong.
  7. Encourage a 2-way conversation
    Encourage questions to confirm a clear understanding and collaborate to identify solutions together.
  8. Follow-up on progress
    Feedback should be a constant loop, not an annual discussion.

Feedback can be invaluable when offered in the right way with the right intention.

The best leaders give constructive, timely feedback, but also seek feedback from their employees.

Feedback should be a 2-way street.

As an effective leader, you need to know how to give feedback effectively and how to receive it constructively.

Stay tuned for next week’s episode where we explore the art of receiving feedback as a leader.

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