Leadership and Management
February 21, 2024

The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback


giving and receiving feedback

The art of giving and receiving feedback is dependent on many variables. In many cases, these variables may be out of your control. The ability to deliver well-received feedback is a valuable skill for both leaders and their teams.

Like most skills, it can be improved. Jen Pulsifer (Axonius) and Katie Pulsifer (Katie Pulsifer Coaching) shared tactical tips for giving and receiving feedback, and answered these questions for the WISE community:

  • What role does empathy play in feedback?
  • How can you deliver feedback that is clear and concise?
  • How do we receive and process it so we learn from it?

"Clear is kind."

Brene Brown put it best: the most effective way to deliver feedback is to do so in the clearest way possible. To put this into practice, try writing down your feedback and revisiting it to remove the "fluff." Do not hold onto feedback until it's convenient. Share feedback immediately so the other person is not left wondering.

Soft on people, hard on issues.

Feedback should never be delivered in a manner that targets the person. It should focus on the action, task, or outcome. During the conversation, remember to address the issue at hand. Refer to policies, data, or results to communicate your point.

Self-worth is not defined by feedback.

When receiving constructive feedback, it is important to remember that another person's words do not define our self-worth. We are inherently worthy. However, the language we use can play a huge role in how feedback is received or delivered. Rather than saying one is failing or succeeding, try to frame your language around learning and growing. Approaching feedback with empathy and vulnerability builds connection and confidence between people. This can make feedback conversations much easier. To qualify your feedback, ask yourself if you would want to be at the receiving end of the feedback. If your answer is yes, then deliver it without delay. Remember, delivering great feedback that is well received is like any other skill. You can improve if you’re willing to take the time to establish a connection, and understand what drives and motivates the person to whom you are providing feedback.

Want to learn more? You can stream the full event recording here.

Thank you to all of the WISE partners for making this event possible and our panelists for sharing their time and advice.