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3 Tips for Giving Better Feedback at Work

Feedback is a gift. If you want to improve your performance at your place of work, it’s important to understand areas in need of development. Every professional is under pressure to perform and New York’s collective working culture of immediate gratification and need for continuous improvement makes it imperative that you are doing everything to become a better you. By giving great feedback to others, you can increase your odds of obtaining constructive feedback about your own performance. New Yorkers love reciprocity, so here are three tips on how you can be a great giver of feedback.


Tips for Giving Feedback to Employees (Photo: iStockphoto)


Specific facts and figures lead to instant credibility
The worst kind of feedback is vague, general and cliché — “You need to try harder” (How?) “Your report was bad” (In what way?), etc. When you give others feedback, apply facts, figures or specific examples that are indisputable. For example: “On page 10 of your report, the calculation you proposed did not account for the 18% capital cost.”

Prioritize in threes
When you give feedback to a colleague, it helps to provide ideas in threes. It forces you to prioritize the points of feedback you want to give and is more likely to stick in the mind of the colleague you are critiquing.

Check in, follow up and measure improvement
It’s a best practice to follow up on the feedback you’ve given to see what they may be doing to address the areas of improvement you pointed out. The person will appreciate your level of seriousness and will be more likely to give you the same type of honest treatment in return. It shows that you value your colleague’s development and can foster a tighter bond as co-workers.

Applying these three steps are simple ways to give stronger, more memorable and useful feedback. You, your company and your team will benefit and this approach can encourage better teamwork and a culture centered on open communication.

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at

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