Is your feedback actually helpful?  
As a coach, you know how important it is to listen, to ask questions, and to listen again. But you also know that this a time to speak. The same is true for your clients. 4 tips on how to give appropriate and helpful feedback.

Written By Robert E Logan

Christian Coaching Pioneer, Strategic Ministry Catalyst, Resource Developer, Empowering Consultant : Logan Leadership
You’ve listened and helped them run through options and they are still, well, stuck. The time has come to speak up and provide constructive feedback. How you navigate the conversation can be the difference between progress and a roadblock. 

There are so many ways things can go sideways when giving people feedback—even well-intentioned, helpful feedback. In some cases, people aren’t ready to hear it. In other cases, the feedback has not been offered in a spirit of true helpfulness and people simply feel criticized. In yet other cases, there are no clear actionable steps to be taken based on that feedback, leaving everyone involved frustrated. 

4 Tips for Giving Helpful Feedback

4 tips to ensure your feedback is helpful

Whether you are navigating these waters yourself or preparing a client to give constructive feedback, here are three important factors to consider: 

1. Timing is Everything

It’s a saying for good reason. Feedback is more likely to be well received when the person receiving the feedback will not feel under pressure, busy, or stressed. For example, perhaps the worst time to provide feedback is right when you see the action happening. Unless someone will be harmed or the result will be catastrophic, it’s best to let it play out and address it later. Find a time when the issue is not currently happening and the person has the time and emotional bandwidth to process. Of course, it’s also important to find a time and place where others will not be in a position to overhear. 

2. Lead with the positive

Jumping to what is wrong triggers stress signals and tends to leave people either on the defense or feeling deflated. It’s much more helpful and productive to lead by reminding them where they shine. Talk about what went well, how they made a difference. Once reminded that they have gifts and skills that are valuable, they are much more prepared to accept feedback to improve their performance. 

3. Stick to facts

Whenever possible, stick to the facts. State the issue clearly and without emotional language. Come from a perspective of wanting to help. “I’ve noticed X happening a few times recently…” Avoid lecturing. Instead, work toward a productive conversation. Give the person a chance to respond to your feedback. Ask them what they are thinking and what they are learning. Listen to their answers and positively reinforce clear thinking. 

4. Keep it pragmatic

Don’t end the conversation without outlining practical and measurable action steps. Having options makes everyone feel empowered. Begin with brainstorming and then narrow in until they decide on action that is achievable and is a step in the right direction. 

Questions that I find useful in these situations include:

  • What are you learning?
  • What options do you have to improve?
  • Which option will you choose?
  • Who can help you?
  • When will you implement this?

Resources

Whether you want to improve your own skills at providing effective feedback or you want to help your clients wade through some sticky situations, the Resource Zone Giving Constructive Feedback Skill Builder Guide provides some fresh and relevant ways of looking at how we can all learn to give constructive feedback. (Link to loganleadership.com)

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Cover Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Building and Supporting a Network of Excellent Coaches

It is incredible to see coaching championed as a vital component to church planting, church revitalization, and leadership networks. But for coaches—and those they coach—to thrive they need more than initial coach training…

How to Make Change Stick

As a coach, you know change is hard. That’s why people need the help of a coach when making real change stick.

Working with Clients to Declutter Time

Spring is here… and so is spring cleaning! But have you ever thought of spring cleaning applied not just to your house and garage but to your time? Your calendar? Your list of responsibilities? 

Your coaching business depends on THIS

You want to be the one people look to when they need help or when they are ready to do what it takes to make their dreams come true. To be that person, there is one area that you absolutely cannot let falter…

4 Keys to Effective Fundraising

When coaching people in the nonprofit sector the topic of fundraising is bound to come up. Here are some tips to help.

Simple Ministry Assessment

Your clients have plans and systems in place. The big question: Are they working? Help the ministry leaders you coach take a clear-eyed snapshot of where their ministry current is while creating action items with this simple ministry assessment.

What is your vision to cultivate leaders?

Every church should have a leadership development system. Even if that system is currently working, it needs to be assessed regularly to meet changing needs. Here are the basics that every leadership development system should have…

How to connect with high-level leaders

You want to build your coaching business but you don’t want to feel like a salesperson working on commission. The good news is: you don’t need to work up a semi-uncomfortable sales pitch and practice delivering it. Here’s what to do instead…

Get your clients ready for change

You are coaching change leaders, people who need to get others on board and growing toward to what’s next. Here’s a simple way to gauge the level of receptivity for change and discover the way forward.

What is the best way to turn a corner? 

The ultimate goal of coaching is to help clients change their lives for the better and grow personally and in their ministries. As you help people prepare for what’s next, it’s important to help them slow down, assess and adjust so they can round the next corner with confidence. Here’s how…