how to give and receive feedback

Interpersonal Skills: 20 Tips on How to Give and Receive Feedback

In communication terms, feedback is the response of an individual or a group to a message or an action. 

In a world where good communication is the ability to deliver and receive clear messages, giving and receiving feedback are essential skills. Learning about these tips on how to give and receive feedback is critical.

10 TIPS ON Giving Feedback 10 TIPS ON Receiving Feedback
Make sure to assimilate the messageListen
Prepare your messageBe receptive 
Be timelyLeave out any bias
Be clear and preciseRepeat the message 
Avoid generalizations, maintain your perspectiveExpress appreciation
Keep it impersonal to the messengerAsk questions 
Start and finish with the positive pointsFilter the message
Provide suggestionsHandle your emotions in private 
Allow the messenger to respondAct on it
Follow upFollow up  

How to Give and Receive Feedback – 20 Tips To Help You

We’ll go through ten tips and examples on how to give feedback first, and then follow up with ten tips on how to receive feedback. Enjoy!


1. Make sure to assimilate the message.

Before communicating what has been understood by the message, it is essential to take the time to assimilate and interpret the message correctly. That allows the person to avoid the mistake of having either an overt reaction or a low engagement with what has been said.

 The objective is the right communication setting should be mutual understanding; thus, a simple reaction generated by a misunderstanding is not the most ideal nor the most effective response to a message. 

2. Prepare your message. 

It’s essential to give a response that has been well thought out. Providing the feedback should be to make things more straightforward, which requires a more significant effort to respond the new recipient can well assimilate that. 

A good response has come from a thoughtful place, keeping in mind the goal of the communication and it’s effectiveness. 

3. Be timely. 

Even though some deliberation is essential to give useful feedback, timely placement of the response is equally important.

 Feedback given in time of the action is more effective as it allows for all the parties involved in the communication to be on the same page as to what the subject is and what precisely the feedback is.

A delayed response has a bigger chance of being misplaced and misunderstood, making an early response. 

4. Be clear and precise.

The clearer and the shorter the feedback, the bigger the chances of it being assimilated by the recipient. Keeping the message clear is especially important in group settings, as it helps to keep the message as universal as possible, allowing for an immense understanding by a diverse group. 

On the other hand, it aids the recipient to keep a more significant focus on what the message really is. 

 5. Avoid generalizations, maintain your perspective. 

It’s preferable to transmit the feedback from a personal point of view, making sure to avoid speaking for a group, with the exceptions of the situations where one has been elected the representative of the group.

 In which case, it’s best to utilize general terms only after having consulted the group’s opinion and come to an agreement with them as to what that is. 

Other forms of generalizations such as “never” and “always” are best avoided, especially when placing critiques, as they give off the impression of being an attack. 

6. Keep it impersonal to the messenger.

Especially in cases of negative feedback, personal critiques that offend the messengers’ honor and character in individuals’ case is a recipe for disaster as far as good communication is concerned. 

7. Start and finish with the positive points.

When making a critique, starting with the most positive aspects of the message is an excellent incentive to keeping the recipient in a more open-minded state to the harsh elements of the critique. 

Finishing off on a positive note is also a great incentive to the recipient to consider the critique, as it transmits the good intention of the messenger behind it. 

 8. Provide suggestions.

A good critique is not only one that points out the negative aspects of the message or action, but also one that has implied in itself suggestions on how the message could be better. 

Giving feedback is meant to help both parties in communication reach an understanding that is beneficial for both. Including suggestions in the feedback is a useful way to guarantee that it happens. 

  1. Allow the messenger to respond.  

Part of giving good feedback is being open to responding to it. Communication is an exchange; therefore, messages should go back and forth between the participants until both have assimilated the main message. 

 10. Follow up. 

After giving the feedback, follow up closely to make sure that the input was well received. That guarantees the success of the exchange and allows you to know if any additional feedback is necessary to the achievement of the common goal behind the trade. 

Highly Recommended Articles:

8 Ways to Give Constructive Criticism at Work

5 Top Interpersonal Skills for Performance Reviews




 1. Listen. 

The first step to receiving feedback, just like the first tip to giving it, ensures that the message is internalized before any subsequent action or response. 

Listening should be done not to come up with a response to the feedback but to understand it. 

2. Be receptive. 

Being receptive to feedback is very important in creating in people the safety to approach you with their insights. 

Receptiveness should be communicated in all steps of receiving the feedback, from the moment that you stop to listen to it. Before any verbal responses, it can be displayed by showing positive and inviting body language, avoiding “crossed arms” and closed facial expressions. 

 3. Leave out any bias. 

When listening to feedback, to understand it, it’s essential not to be biased. A suitable recipient of feedback understands that the feedback is only given for everyone’s benefit, and coming from that place can dissociate oneself from the message and observe and absorb it. 

4. Repeat the message. 

A good tip on receiving feedback is to repeat the message in your own words. A message is generally only truly understood when we can translate it to our own terms while maintaining its original meaning. Repeating the message to yourself or to the person that has given you the feedback, whenever there’s a possibility to do, allows you to verify if the message has been understood truly matches the message that is. 

5. Express appreciation. 

Truly express appreciation for the person taking the time to give you sincere feedback. Even when it’s hard, take the time to appreciate the gesture and the intention behind it, whether the feedback given was positive or not. 

“Thank you” should also always be at the beginning of any verbalized response to the feedback, as it not only is the most polite thing to say, but it also communicates an individual receptiveness to feedback.

 6. Ask questions. 

Asking questions to deconstruct the message is a great way to ensure that all the parts in it are understood. 

As the recipient, it helps you get more clarity as to what is fundamentally being communicated. It also shows your engagement in the subject, thus being a great response to the feedback. 

 7. Filter the message. 

Receiving feedback well doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with everything that has been said.  Developing the ability to discern the aspects of the message that are genuinely relevant is equally as important as taking in the message, especially in situations where the feedback hasn’t been well delivered, which can happen due to the complexity of communication.

8. Handle your emotions in private. 

Being on the receiving end of harmful or harsh critiques can sometimes trigger certain emotions in the recipient. That is perfectly acceptable as long as those emotions are handled in the right way, at the right place. 

Making sure to reserve those emotions for a private moment is the best way not to have an overt reaction to the feedback while still making sure that you access your feelings. 

 9. Act on it. 

After properly receiving feedback, one should take action towards the aspects that have been brought up, as that guarantees the success of the communication and the exchange. Feedback hasn’t been appropriately taken until it inspires a subsequent positive action, which benefits all exchange parties. 

10. Follow up. 

Make sure to keep the person who has given you feedback updated. Communicate back to the messenger the results of the actions taken after the input, which helps all parties maintain good results and gives them a better chance to achieve the common goal that has brought them together, benefiting all parties.


And it is no use to think that it is better not to do it if it is difficult. There is no way to stop giving feedback; Not giving feedback is already offering a message; the absence of it will be interpreted as a reflection of a bad achievement.

Feedback occurs even without verbalization. An ugly face and inattention or any no action will be interpreted as disinterest, a veiled criticism.

The sensitivity of people is very acute in this sense. We all feel, on the skin, feelings, insecurities, lack of care in management.

References and Further Reading


Coaching for Leaders. E510: How to Reduce Bias in Feedback with Theresa Huston. Google Podcasts.

Giving and Receiving Feedback. SkillsYouNeed

Teal Swan Podcast. Google Podcast

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