The rules of effective feedback

Post written by Orsolya Hernold

Feedback is a unique way of social learning. My growth and development was mostly affected by honest and benevolent feedback – although it was sometimes tough hearing it. Feedback is effective – meaning the other person truly listens and understands – if it is asked for and we keep ourselves to some rules:


We also have to keep in mind that listening to our feedback does not mean that the other person will act differently next time. She / he has the liberty to accept and change or can decide to continue the behavior we gave feedback on. It is up to her / him.

It was probably a great step to even ask for that feedback, so acknowledge this bravery! I know I have a clench in my stomach before I hear the words of feedback and my thoughts start running fast recalling events when I could have hurt someone or committed a mistake. I fear I will not be lovable any more – one of my great motives in life. So putting yourself in the position of hearing something about yourself that is uncomfortable can be frightening! Be patient and watch your words. Talk slowly, choose your words mindfully.

Next time you are asked for feedback, try to keep yourself to the rules above and write down your experiences.


Now, ask for feedback. Make it easy the first time and ask someone who loves you. Talk to her / him about your experiences of giving feedback.


Reread both of your observations and harvest your findings.


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