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Tip 177 - Interpersonal Proficiency Coaching Competency 3: Constructive Feedback

A coach’s job is to provide feedback that is authentic and honest. Feedback should also be both positive and constructive. All of this is critical to a leader’s professional growth.

  • Positive feedback reinforces appropriate behavior.

  • Constructive feedback changes behavior that needs to improve.

When giving feedback, concentrate on the behaviors that you would like the leader to do more of, do less of, and continue performing. Feedback should be a regular part of your conversations and based on the needs of the leader’s developmental and goals. It is also important for the coach to share their wisdom of past experiences, lessons learned, special anecdotes, and valuable insights.

Effective feedback is:

  • Desired. Give the feedback the leader wants.

  • Honest, concise, and direct. Use candid and truthful words that can be understood.

  • Specific and observable. Focus feedback on the “what, how, and when” that is observed.

  • Sincere. Be genuine and authentic.

  • Achievable and actionable. Feedback is for the leader to act on and within their control.

  • Timed close to action. Feedback should be timely.

  • Accompanied by support. How can you support the leader through their changes?

  • Clear about impact and consequences. Define the “why” of the feedback.

  • Phrased as statements. Stay away from asking questions for yes/no responses.

  • Don’t exaggerate, label, or judge. Omit words always, inappropriate, and wrong.

When you give feedback, describe the leader’s behavior and how it impacts others. Specify a possible change and how it might make a difference. Listen and be prepared to consider the leader’s other alternatives.


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