Three Ways to Make Giving Difficult Feedback Easier

People giving feedback to each other
How often have we worked for leaders who have been thoughtful and courageous enough to invest time in giving us honest feedback that truly helped us grow?

Most of us have probably have probably been told “well done” numerous times, but we need more than that to understand how we can get to where we want to be.

One of the best ways to create a culture of honest feedback is to start giving it to others. We can build our team’s loyalty by investing time into helping team members understand what they need to do to be better at way they do and closer to where they want to be.

Our good intentions does not mean that giving these messages is easy – there is a reason why most managers shy away from these conversations (but we are not these managers!  We care about our teams!)

Here are three ways to make giving constructive feedback easier:

  • Start with what’s been done well: Start the conversation on a positive note. One caveat: the positive feedback must be sincere and well thought-through.
  • … but don’t only include things that have been done well: The purpose of this exercise is to help someone grow. This means honest feedback with suggestions on what needs to be improved, examples of where you saw this issue and how the person could address it (e.g. What courses could he/she take? What meetings could be he/she lead?
  • Step out of the office: Staring at each other across a desk can make difficult conversations even more uncomfortable. New environments also spark more open dialogue and creative ideas. Our suggestions: a quick walk outside or a comforting coffee in a cozy cafe.

We’re passionate about helping people become authentic leaders through feedback. Follow us on twitter @weareacademe where we will be sharing more insights.

About the author May Kwong:

May is the co-founder of acadeMe. We are a women-led start up that coaches millennials and young professionals to identify their purpose and navigate the workplace effectively. We love talking about the power of feedback and building networks.


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