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?


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

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

Cover Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

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