Giving and Receiving Feedback Effectively

3 min read

Feedback is the key to success in any organization, especially for executives. Executives need to be able to give and receive feedback effectively to set the company's direction, make strategic decisions, and motivate and lead their teams.

Giving and receiving feedback effectively can lead to a number of benefits, including improved performance, increased self-awareness, and a more positive and productive work environment.

While there are some cultural differences in communication styles, executives can follow some general tips to give and receive feedback effectively.

Giving feedback

When giving feedback, it is important to be specific, actionable, and timely. Avoid giving vague or general feedback, such as "good job" or "do better." Instead, focus on specific behaviors or actions you want to see more or less of. For example, you could say, "I really appreciate how you took the lead on that project and kept everyone on track," or "I noticed that you've been making careless mistakes lately. Can we talk about how to improve your accuracy?"

It is also important to make sure that your feedback is actionable. This means providing the person with concrete steps they can take to improve. For example, instead of saying, "You need to be more assertive," you could say, "Try speaking up more in meetings and sharing your ideas."

Finally, it is important to give feedback in a timely manner. This means giving feedback as soon as possible after the event or behavior occurred. This will help the person understand what they did well or need to improve upon.

Receiving feedback

Receiving feedback can be challenging, especially if it is negative. However, it is important to remember that feedback is meant to help you improve. When receiving feedback, try to be open-minded and receptive. Listen carefully to what the person is saying and try to understand their perspective. Avoid getting defensive or making excuses.

Once the person has finished giving you feedback, take some time to reflect on what they said. Ask yourself if there is any truth to their feedback. If so, what can you do to improve? If you disagree with the feedback, try to understand why the person feels the way they do. You may be able to learn something from their perspective, even if you don't agree with it.

Here are some additional tips for receiving feedback effectively:

  • Ask for feedback regularly. Don't wait until the end of the year or performance review to ask for feedback. Ask your manager, colleagues, and other trusted advisors for feedback on your performance, areas for improvement, and strengths.
  • Be specific about what feedback you're looking for. Do you want feedback on a specific project, presentation, or skill? The more specific you are, the more helpful the feedback will be.
  • Be open to both positive and negative feedback. It's important to hear the good so you can continue to do what you're doing well. But it's also important to hear the negative so you can identify areas for improvement.
  • Say, thank you. Even if you don't agree with all of the feedback, thank the person for taking the time to give it to you.

Benefits of giving and receiving feedback effectively

There are many benefits to giving and receiving feedback effectively. When feedback is given in a constructive way, it can help to:

  • Improve performance
  • Identify and address areas for improvement
  • Build trust and rapport
  • Create a more positive and productive work environment

When feedback is received in an open and receptive way, it can help to:

  • Increase self-awareness
  • Promote professional development
  • Improve motivation and engagement
  • Boost morale and productivity


Giving and receiving feedback effectively is an essential skill for executives. By following the tips above, executives can learn to give feedback in a helpful and constructive way, and they can learn to receive feedback in a way that is open and receptive. By doing so, executives can create a more positive and productive work environment for themselves and their teams.


Here is an example of how to give and receive feedback effectively:

Giving feedback:

"Hi John, I wanted to give you feedback on your last week's presentation. Overall, I thought you did a great job. You were well-prepared, and your delivery was clear and engaging. However, I noticed that you stumbled over your words a few times, especially at the beginning of your presentation. This is something to be aware of and work on, but it didn't detract from the overall quality of your presentation.

Also, I thought your slides were a bit cluttered. There was a lot of text on each slide, making it difficult to follow along. I would recommend using more visuals and breaking up the text into smaller chunks.

Overall, I thought you did a great job. Keep up the good work!"

Receiving feedback:

"Thank you for the feedback, Bill. I appreciate you taking the time to share with me.

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Article originally published in Steve's LinkedIn Newsletter HR Asia October 7, 2023

Posted on October 7, 2023
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