Our staff want and need good feedback, but so few leaders are comfortable doing it, and even fewer have ever been trained to do it well.

Recently, a management coach I follow shared his powerful model for giving feedback, and I appreciated just how positive and straight forward it is. He wants this model to be part of his legacy as an advisor, consultant and professor, so I am sharing it with you.

This is an engaging, empowering, productive, almost effortless and stress-free model based on four basic questions:

  • What is going well? (Ask what accomplishments are you most proud of? What can you build on?)
  • What isn’t going so well? (What would you have done differently knowing what you know now? What can you learn from this?)
  • Looking at the next six months, what are your top few priorities or key projects? (What do you want to accomplish or which projects move forward?)
  • What do you need from me to help you achieve those results and continue to grow? (Are there roadblocks I can help with? How can I be a better boss and coach?

Do you see the power in this? The team member has to answer each of these questions at the beginning of the feedback meeting. As a leader, you listen to that person’s input, ask more questions, respond with your views, and have a positive, constructive conversation.

It is helpful to share these four questions with your direct report ahead of the meeting. This gives them time to think about the answers and to get a sense that the upcoming session will be positive, useful and meaningful to them.

Have you other ideas on how to give good feedback? I’d enjoy hearing and sharing them with others.


About Dale

Dale Wilcox is president of WATMEC Limited. A Learning Strategist, she holds a CTDP from the former CSTD, and a Human Performance Improvement certificate from the former ASTD. For over 25 years she has been an award winner with WILEY and is certified to deliver and debrief all their assessments. Previously Dale was a Board member and inaugural chair of CSTD. She has over 45 years of Board member experience in both for profit and non-profits organizations. An entrepreneur at heart, this is her 4th business venture.