Giving and Receiving Feedback





How often have you heard that feedback is a gift? There are often tips and articles out there of techniques on how to give feedback, but there is less information on how to actually receive it in a similar “gift-like” quality. The gift in receiving feedback is that we have the opportunity to gain an awareness of how we are being perceived by others; and we may not have insight to this unless we are willing to seek it.

The other important thing to keep in mind is whether there is trust established, in order for others to give and receive honest feedback–positive and constructive. Both parties have to practice vulnerability in sharing and receiving the information. Lastly, if managers are asking for feedback from their staff and it is not acted upon, it may cause staff to feel unheard or disappointed. To learn more about how to get feedback from your staff, check out this practical and quick article by Executive Coach Esther Derby.



“Giving and receiving performance feedback successfully is one of the most critical and difficult, yet often undeveloped and undervalued interpersonal skills in the modern workplace.

Paul Jerome. Coaching Through Effective Feedback


How does a worker acquire the skills and knowledge to become really good at what they do?  Of course, they learn by doing.  They learn by observing others who are highly skilled.  In fact, a great many workers learn this way--without intervention from their managers.  Many managers, once they hire someone who is qualified for a job, think they should be able to do the job well from day one.  Unfortunately, this is rare.  Plus, the learning curve is much longer.


Workers need timely, objective, specific feedback to succeed.  Not only are they learning new skills, they are learning how to: effectively interact with new people, use the organization’s resources to get things done, prioritize what’s important, and adapt to organizational changes.  Without direct feedback, they flounder.  They are often reticent to ask for feedback--they are afraid they will be perceived negatively for asking for help.  This is especially true in environments where the manager is very busy--so busy, that he/she isn’t available or often appears stressed.


Simply, without effective feedback, workers ‘get by’ on their own.  Their learning curves are long and circuitous.   They have a harder time working as part of a team.  Their self-esteem suffers.  With effective feedback, they come up to speed and become productive in less time and with a greater feeling of accomplishment.  Whether relatively new or highly experienced, people want and need feedback.  But it has to be the right kind of feedback--which is what  you will learn in this module.


Check out these other resources on giving and receiving feedback:

A Model and Guide for Giving Feedback