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Workplace Feedback – Are you Apt or Inept? Learn Effective Communication and Conflict Management Leadership Skills

Giving effective feedback is part of learning great communication and conflict management leadership skills. I was inspired to write about feedback today because of a challenging situation with the contractor who is remodeling my bathroom. Yup, removing toilets can make everyone edgy!

Here are 9 questions to help you assess your feedback expertise:

1.     Do you avoid giving feedback because it is uncomfortable?

2.     Do you avoid giving feedback because you think it takes too much time?

3.     Do you avoid giving feedback for any other reason?

4.     Do you mainly give constructive feedbackand not positive feedback?

5.     Do you mainly give positive feedback and not constructive feedback?

6.     Do you actively solicit feedback from those around you?

7.     How well do you do RECEIVING feedback(both positive and constructive?)

8.     Does your team have a structured way to give each other consistent positive and constructive feedback?

9.     Does feedback flow all directions in your organization, peer to peer as well as direct report to manager and vice versa?

Most of us have room to grow in the feedback department. Luckily a little effort in this area pays off quickly!

Here are 3 things that I have noticed about feedback with teams over the years:

 1.     The more you practice at it (both giving and receiving feedback) the more comfortable it gets.

2.     The more willing you are to give AND receive feedback the more effective you will become.

3.     If consistent, balanced and well-meaningfeedback is incorporated into a team culture, the team becomes more effective, efficient and trusting of each other.

Balanced Feedback

I have to relate this topic to the DiSC personality style training.  (please see previous blogs on DiSC).  If you don’t already know your personality style, please see this blog. If you do know, this will be a reminder.

For those folk who have a D or C as part of your personality style –your natural tendency is going to be to focus on what is not working in order to fix it.There are pros and cons to this way of relating to challenges.

The pros are that you often DO fix things and find solutions. The challenge is that you are prone to give mainly constructive feedback and the people who work with you may perceive you as uncaring or intimidating – at your worst you might be bullying or standoffish. You may see giving positive feedback as a waste of time – this is where you probably need to grow.

For those people are who have an I or S as part of your personality style – your natural tendency is to see the positive and build on what is working or ask what else is possible. You tend to see the glass as “half-full.”

The benefit to this perspective is that people probably perceive you as being able to relate well to others as you are empathic, understanding, and can see multiple perspectives. People who work for you will often feel affirmed and part of a team.

The drawback is that you have a tendency to give mainly positive feedback and avoid constructive feedback as unpleasant and conflict producing. You may sweep things under the rug that really need to be addressed in order for your team to move forward.  Your growth edge is to learn how to effectively deliver constructive feedback in a way that is honest but not personal.

The Formula for Giving Feedback:

  • Ask Permission
  • State What Happened
  • Impact
  • (Request – for constructive feedback)
  • (Collaborate – for constructive feedback)


Ask Permission:  “I wanted to give you some feedback, is now a good time?”  This allows the person to get prepared to receive feedback and schedule a better time if necessary. Most people assume that this will be constructive or negative feedback, so it will be a pleasant surprise if it is positive!

State What Happened: “I really appreciated your comments during the meeting regarding the strategic plan.” Or “You didn’t finish the report yesterday according to the deadline.”  These should be objective, observable actions or behaviors, the way a camera or video would record them. Most people give evaluative feedback based on their own values and judgements that can create conflict. For example, “This is the last time I am going to accept a late proposal. You are always late.” You want to state your observations in neutral terms.

Impact: What was the impact of the behavior on you and the team (if applicable)? “Your comments made me think of new possibilities I hadn’t considered.” Or “Because you were late with your report I couldn’t finish the project I needed to give to the CEO today.”

Request: “Next time I either need you to complete things according to what we have agreed to or communicate with me ahead of time so that I know what is going on.”

Collaborate: “Is there anything I can do to help?” “Do you have any ideas on how to handle this?” “Let’s follow up next week and see how things are going.”

Giving Effective feedback is just one of the skills you will learn and practice during our customized communication and conflict management leadership skills training. Give us a call for a free consultation!

303 653 3097.

For your growth!

Jeannie Gunter, MA President, Transformative Training

Jeannie Gunter, MA

Jeannie Gunter, MA

Founder, Transformative Solutions

303 653-3097

Jeannie works with a wide variety of clients to help them increase their team effectiveness and leadership capacity in their teams. She has worked both nationally and internationally as an organizational consultant, facilitator, speaker and wilderness guide.

With a strong background in group dynamics, over the past 20 years Jeannie has guided hundreds of teams in a wide variety of organizations to successful outcomes in team, personal and professional development.


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