Giving Effective Feedback

Critical conversations take place frequently in the workplace.  One of the most difficult, yet critical, things for a manager to do is to provide feedback to an employee, especially if the feedback is negative.  The following checklist provides quick pointers for managers.

- Reinforcement is the most effective form of feedback.
- Criticism is the most ineffective form of feedback.
- The difference between criticism and advice is a difference in timing. Most criticism can be given as advice.
- When feedback is mixed, the impact is diluted. The employee becomes confused and doesn’t know what to do.
- Criticism overpowers all other feedback.
- Silence is not always “golden.” It can be interpreted in a variety of ways.

When giving feedback, remember:

- State specifically what you’ve observed, whether it’s positive or negative
• What, when, where.
• Give examples that support your points.

- Concentrate on the observable behaviors and results and not the person.
• Express observations calmly and factually.

- Describe specifically what you want to reinforce or correct.
• Explain why it is important to recognize or correct the performance.

- Describe the consequences and impact of the employee’s performance.

- Balance positive and negative feedback.
• Praise accomplishments.


Managing people is the most challenging part of any leader's day. And that job certainly is not getting any easier. The Big Book of HR will provide any HR professional, manager, or business owner of any size organization the information they need to get the most from their talent. It is filled with information on everything from the most strategic HR-related issues to the smallest tactical detail of how to manage people.