Photo of a woman holding a sign that says "thank you for your feedback"

Note: The following is 90% from a 2018 Blog by Claire Lew, CEO of Know Your Team ( “My life’s mission is to help people become happier at work.”

1) Ask permission to give feedback

When you have difficult feedback to give, ask if now is a good time to give it.

Would you be open to hearing some quick feedback around a few things I noticed?”

“I heard a few things on a call the other day that I thought we could talk through together — would you be open to that?”

“Happen to have time later today to chat around a few things I saw?”

“Would you want to sit down and talk about different ways we can both improve?” (this MUST be genuine!)

2) Come from a place of Caring

Make it clear your good intentions! Your goal is to help the other succeed.

“I’m saying this because I believe in you and what you’re capable of…”

“I’m giving you this feedback because I want you to succeed…”

“This is important to me because I care about the company’s direction as a whole…”

3) Come from a place of Observation

Focus on the observable behaviors of what happened, not the personal characteristics of the person.

“When you did ___, it made me feel ___…”

“Here’s what I observed…”

“Here’s what I noticed…”

“Here’s where I think there’s an opportunity to improve…”

i.e. instead of “I think you’re careless and sloppy” say, “I noticed that in the email you wrote, there were a few mistakes that made me feel like the work was careless.”

4) Come from a place of Humanness

Stay humble! Your feedback is only an interpretation of what you observed, and your perspective is not a universal truth.

“Is there anything I’m missing?”

“How do you see it? Do you see it differently?”

“Is there anything I’m misinterpreting?”

“Is there another way to look at this I’m not seeing?”

“I’ve done something similar myself…”

“I may not have given you all the information…”

5) Come from a place of Curiosity

It helps when feedback feels like a conversation and is also a time to listen as well.

“What are your thoughts?”

“Was there anything that doesn’t seem clear to you?”

“What do you have for me? How can I do better?”

“What can we do together to move forward?”

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier