Giving and receiving feedback to get along and lead others- p.182 – 183

…“To succeed in getting along with and leading others, I need to become skillful in providing tough feedback. Unfortunately, this task is easier said than done.” Dan admitted that he isn’t yet in the position to provide difficult feedback neither to his team nor his boss/peers. “Though it’s a very tough challenge, however, it’s possible to develop and continually fine-tune this soft skill. It’s within your reach to remain nice while at the same time giving honest and strong feedback to the people you love and care about.” Rafael then shared his experience in providing strong feedback, and Dan loved the examples.

The best approach to provide tough feedback that I suggest to my audience when I facilitate feedback giving and receiving workshops is to customize every feedback to the individual. To provide tough feedback:

  1. Find the right place and time. Where and when you offer your feedback determines its outcome. Choose the right atmosphere and timing if your desire is to succeed in giving tough feedback.
  2. Create a positive environment. Always begin with a positive tone. Everyone has some strengths and things that are going very well. Acknowledge the strengths of the person and what has been working well before you talk about what went wrong, weaknesses, and limitations of the person.
  3. State the issue very clearly. Clearly indicate what isn’t working, what must change.
  4. Be specific. Don’t just use generic terms. Stop beating around the bush. Be specific and give some examples and instances.
  5. Provide some options. If the feedback requires making changes, give the person the opportunity to suggest some ways to improve the situation. If the person doesn’t have anything to suggest or if you have better options, provide some alternatives.
  6. Offer support. Once you reach agreement on how to resolve the issue or improve it, ask the person any help he/she may need from you. If the issue requires monitoring and arranging subsequent meetings, work out the details with the person.

Of course, you don’t need to implement this process strictly. You may customize and use it as it fits your objective condition on the ground. The most important thing is to understand the place of giving tough feedback as you empower your people to succeed in what they do. By the same token, seek tough feedback if your desire is to grow as a leader continually. Kevin Cashman wrote, “Sometimes other people hold keys to unlocking self-knowledge. Rather than spending energy resisting feedback, look for the seeds of learning contained in people’s perceptions. Leaders grow proportionally to their openness to input.”


Taken from page 182 – 183 of the book ‘Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others.’


1. The Kindle version of the book is available on Amazon. The print version will soon be available. Stay tuned.

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