Skip to main content

How Startup Teams Can Give More Effective Feedback

Giving feedback is critical to helping your team — and therefore your company — thrive. With feedback, team members understand which behaviors to continue and which behaviors to change, all to be more effective in their role. When done right, feedback actually has a multiplier effect — it motivates top performers and increases engagement by all.

Giving and receiving constructive feedback

The first step is to identify how constructive feedback is best given. When you give somebody feedback, you want to communicate three things:

  1. An observation that is fact-based
  2. An explanation of the effect it had on you or others
  3. A recommendation on how to do it better going forward

It can sound like this: “What I observed was [X]. I noticed it had the following effect: [Y]. In the future, to be more effective, I would recommend that you do [Z].”

Team members who are not used to working in a culture with direct feedback may feel uncomfortable delivering feedback the first few times they do it, but with repetition it can become second nature over time.

Just as important as it is to give feedback well, it’s critical to receive feedback well. Three things are important here too:

  1. Receive feedback without getting defensive
  2. Internalize the feedback through reflection
  3. Incorporate the feedback with intention

It can look like this: You listen to feedback someone gives you. You ask questions to clarify and understand. You think about the feedback — focus on where it’s accurate and then commit to being better along that dimension the next time.

This can be difficult. As human beings, we’re naturally wired to hear good things well (not bad things well). This takes practice (so do it often) and discipline (fight the urge to defend). When done well, it makes a meaningful impact on a company’s people… and performance.

Giving and receiving positive feedback

Simply providing constructive feedback is not enough; as an entrepreneur leading a growing company, I have found that positive feedback is a critical tool for driving the team’s morale and engagement.

Here are a few ways I’ve seen positive feedback delivered most effectively:

  1. Be specific. Specificity is critical when delivering positive feedback so that members of your team know which behaviors to repeat over time. Provide:
  • An observation that is fact-based
  • An explanation of the positive effect it had on you or others
  • An encouraging word, such that the desired behavior continues
  1. Make it public. Making positive feedback public helps recognize team members for a job well done, and it also provides concrete examples of behavior that should be emulated by others.

Clear and effective feedback is a critical component of management, performance and culture. It helps employees learn and grow, which helps the business ultimately succeed.

This article was written by David Klein from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

The information in this article is presented as-is and does not necessarily reflect the views of First Republic Bank.

Related Content

Connect with us

Your dedicated team is ready to serve you and looks forward to speaking with you about your tech banking needs.

Get started

You're now leaving First Republic.

By clicking Continue, you will be entering a third-party website. First Republic is not responsible for the content, links, privacy policy or security policy of this website.