How are you at giving and receiving feedback?

Whenever you read an article or a chapter on leadership or communication, there is always a section on how important feedback is. In reality though it is something that is rarely appears done well.

Now I have been thinking about my own experiences of giving and receiving feedback, both first hand and second hand. In most cases it was a car crash. When I think about what was happening to me when I was giving feedback and receiving it, Jack Canfield’s success formula (Event + Response = Outcome) came to mind. It was always my response to either giving or receiving feedback that resulted in me either having a good or a poor outcome to the feedback.

When I am giving feedback I will often worry about how it will be received even though I know I want to help. I will be thinking about the feedback in terms of positive and negative and how that will make the person feel, rather than thinking about the intention of the feedback.

When I am receiving feedback, I will latch on to all that I perceive as negative, and not hear what the intention of the feedback is. I will rely on recalled memories and use the feedback as confirmation of my inability to do something. I will miss the opportunity that the feedback has offered me.

Sound familiar? Want to get more out of giving and receiving feedback? Here are 2 helpful checklists one for giving and one for receiving feedback.

Giving feedback

  • Is the purpose of the feedback to improve performance?
  • Is the content of the feedback supportive?
  • Does the feedback promote interdependence? (does it encourage the recipient to work with others to improve the outcome)
  • Is the feedback factual?
  • Does the feedback create accountability?
  • Does the feedback assume the recipient have the capacity to achieve?
  • Is the feedback being delivered in a timely manner?
  • Is the feedback yours to give?

Receiving feedback

  • Can I be generous towards the spirit in which this feedback is being offered?
  • How can this feedback enhance my performance?
  • Can I recognise and put a name to the emotions I am feeling right now?
  • Can I recognise the stories I am telling myself to justify my emotions?

We all have a responsibility to improve how we deliver and receive feedback if we want to learn the most from our experiences.


Published by Matt Smith Personal and Professional Coach

Performance and Life Coach

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