Giving Feedback

From Sustainability Methods
Type Team Size
Collaborative Tools Software Personal Skills Productivity Tools 1 2-10 11-30 30+

Why & When

Giving feedback is a central element of any well-functioning relationship or institution; people face each other and complement their self-image through external evaluation.


If a person is unclear about the effects of his or her actions, he or she has no indication of what changes are necessary. The motive for giving feedback should therefore always be to help the other person to make possible course corrections.

Getting started

The basis for good feedback should be a solution-oriented approach, it should be formulated in a positive and motivating way, showing new perspectives and possibilities. In order to constructively point out a way for change, feedback should be situation-specific, timely and concrete, so that the person receiving feedback is able to react. Feedback should be marked as a personal perspective and, especially in the case of critical feedback, it should be appreciative and empathetic. In some situations, however, feedback can also be inappropriate, for example, if the person opposite is not in the emotional state to deal with it. The person giving feedback should therefore make sure in advance to what extent his or her feedback is welcome.

To sum it up, feedback should be:

timely: context should be clear

positive and constructive: are new perspectives presented?

requested: does the other person want to hear your opinion?

Possible steps:

1. I observe... your behaviour.

2. I guess... how I interpret you.

3. I feel... my feelings about what I'm experiencing.

4. I want... my wishes and demands are...

Links & Further reading

The author of this entry is Max Kretschmer.