Charles Good on Feedback

Whether you’re a manager or an employee, giving and receiving feedback is part of working in any team. But it can be hard to deliver criticism without making the other person defensive, and receiving criticism ourselves isn’t always easy. How do we handle constructive criticism so that it benefits us instead of creating tension? The answer lies in learning how to give and receive feedback gracefully – that way everyone involved can benefit from the growth process. This article will explore how to receive feedback with grace and give it with impact.


Receiving feedback can be a challenging and crucial part of personal and professional growth. To embrace it with grace and without judgment, it is important to understand that feedback is a perspective and not a personal attack.

By actively listening to the feedback shared, we can identify the valuable insights that can lead to improvement. Also, remember to maintain a calm and receptive demeanor to allow for a constructive conversation with the individual providing the feedback, fostering stronger relationships and collaboration.

If certain aspects of the feedback are unclear or confusing, it is imperative to seek clarification in a respectful and open manner, ensuring that we extract the lessons and guidance offered. Ultimately, being open to feedback and considering it as an avenue for progress is crucial in propelling us towards success in our personal lives and careers.


Constructive feedback is an essential tool for fostering growth and maintaining strong relationships in professional environments. To ensure that your feedback is both meaningful and positive, it is vital to consider several factors.

Deborah Grayson Riegel, author of seven books, including Go to Help and Overcoming Overthinking, states there are two steps you should take prior to having a feedback conversation – asking for permission and stating your intention. Once completed, follow the Five C model of helpful feedback, which provides a proven framework for the feedback conversation.

  • Contextual – why are you giving the feedback?
  • Conversational – How can you make this a dialogue?
  • Clear – What are you observing and requesting of the other person?
  • Caring – How will you check in on the impact the feedback is having?
  • Culturally aware – How can you adapt and adjust the directness and formality of the feedback?

By framing your feedback in terms of strengths and potential, you can help instill confidence in the recipient, inspiring continued improvement. And don’t forget that specificity is crucial; clearly outline areas that may require attention and offer tangible solutions for their enhancement.

Lastly, active listening is key to creating a valuable exchange. Be open to the recipient’s perspective, show empathy, and validate their thoughts and feelings. By implementing these techniques, you pave the way for positive and constructive feedback that will positively impact the other person.

In conclusion, feedback is an important element in team dynamics, and it can open the door to personal growth. However, it must be received with grace — no judgement — and given in a constructive and positive way in order to have impact. If this is done correctly, people will feel they can share their thoughts and ideas safely, enabling them to reach higher levels of understanding and achievements as a team. To achieve this safe space, we must learn to overcome our fears of ridicule or criticism by empathizing with one another’s feelings. Only then will we be able to give and receive feedback without defensiveness from our team members!


Here are some other resources if you would like to learn more about how to receive feedback with grace and give it with impact. For a deeper dive on Deborah Riegel’s work on the topic check out our recent interview with her. You might also want to read a previous article on our site from author and executive coach Bill Hawkins who explains How to Give Corrective Feedback. If you think your feedback may not be taken well, then you might want to read our blog on Having a Difficult Conversation.


Charles Good is the president of The Institute for Management Studies, which provides transformational learning experiences that drive behavioral change and develop exceptional leaders. Charles is an innovative and resourceful leader who specializes in bringing people together to develop creative organizational and talent strategies that enable business results. His areas of expertise include assessing organizational skill gaps and leading the design, creation and delivery of high impact, innovative learning solutions that achieve business goals.

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