The Power Of Feedback
Shona Floate in blog
18th December 2023 -  3 mins read

Feedback is the lifeblood of personal and professional growth. It serves as a mirror that reflects our strengths and weaknesses, providing valuable insights that can guide us towards improvement. In the world of coaching, the art of giving and receiving feedback is a skill that can make the difference between stagnation and transformation. In this blog, we will give you our top tips for giving and receiving feedback to get the most out of your mentoring or coaching partnership.

Principles of Giving Feedback

Be Specific

Vague feedback makes it harder for a mentee to make effective change. Be specific about what you observed and the impact it had. For example, instead of saying, "You did a good job," you can say, "I noticed that you effectively managed the team's conflict, which improved teamwork and led to a more productive project."

Be Prompt

Offer feedback as close to observed behaviour or event as possible. This can help your mentee connect the feedback to their actions and gain perspective on how they can develop in the future.

Stay Constructive

While it is essential to address areas that a mentee might need to improve, don't forget to highlight their strengths and successes. Acknowledging what someone is doing well can boost their confidence and motivation. Furthermore, feedback should always be delivered with respect and empathy. Frame your feedback in a way that shows you care about the individual's development.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!

Remember, poor performance doesn’t equal poor personality! Feedback should centre on actions and behaviours rather than making judgments about someone's character. For example, instead of saying, "You're lazy," you can say, "I've noticed that you sometimes miss deadlines." Finding room to improve is a positive part of a coaching relationship and proves how beneficial it could be to your partner. Also, it's usually not enough to simply point out the problem; provide guidance on how to address it. Constructive feedback should be forward-looking, offering a path for improvement.

Principles of Receiving Feedback in Coaching

It is essential to a partnership that mentors and coaches give supportive feedback. However, the relationship goes both ways! Read on to find out how a mentee can receive feedback in the most effective way possible.

Listen Actively

When receiving feedback, try to be as fully present and attentive as possible. Giving the person providing feedback your undivided attention both shows your willingness to learn and helps you to take in the feedback. Avoid interrupting or immediately defending yourself. It’s completely natural to feel defensive when receiving feedback, especially if it's negative. Try to take a moment to process the feedback and ask clarifying questions to ensure you understand it correctly.

Ask for Examples

Help your coach or mentor to help you! Don't hesitate to ask for specific examples of areas or circumstances in which you can improve. This specificity can provide you with a better understanding of the feedback and help you work on it effectively.

Reflect and Self-Assess

After receiving feedback, take time to reflect on it. Consider its validity and how it aligns with your goals and values. Self-assessment is a crucial part of the feedback process. Going forward, create a plan of action to implement the feedback you have received. Identify specific steps and goals for addressing the feedback and share your plan with your coach or supervisor for accountability.

Express Gratitude

Regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative, express gratitude for your partner’s input. It is likely they have put effort into tailoring their feedback in order to optimise your growth and development. Expressing gratitude shows that you value the other person's time and perspective and are open to growth.

The art of giving and receiving feedback is a vital component of mentoring and coaching. It fuels personal and professional growth, enhances self-awareness, and builds stronger coaching relationships. Embrace feedback as a tool for improvement and watch as it transforms your coaching or mentoring journey.