Feedback culture

How To Give Feedback

  • April 28, 2023
  • Author: WorkMotion
How to receive feedback

Tips for giving feedback to remote teams

Frequent positive feedback helps to nurture work relationships between team members and managers. When these relationships are strong and there is trust within the team, receivers should feel less threatened and more receptive to negative feedback when it occurs.

By contrast, if feedback were only given when a problem occurred, the receiver may be more likely to experience feelings of retaliation and see the giver as unappreciative or petty.


When to give feedback?

Let us have a closer look on when to give feedback and when not to give feedback. There are certain situations you should keep in mind.


giving feedback


Delivering actionable feedback

Delivering actionable feedback is essential for helping individuals and teams grow and improve their performance. Let us have a look at the do’s and don’ts: 


delivering actionable feedback


Giving feedback in a group setting

Giving feedback in the right setting affects team performance, working relationships, and well-being. When insight concerns a team or a team goal, feedback delivered in a group setting is sometimes more productive than 1:1 feedback sessions.


When should group feedback occur?

  • When one or more team members are experiencing negative consequences caused by other team members
  • When fellow team members are the source of the feedback
  • When the issue involves most of the team

Team members who are interdependent need to be able to give and receive feedback from each other. In communicating insights to each other during group feedback sessions, you have the opportunity to develop the important skill of giving feedback. Remember, feedback should also be lateral, not just top-down.

  • Group feedback discussions aren’t just for giving negative feedback – they also present opportunities to acknowledge and praise teams for their collective milestones and accomplishments. → Group recognition is a key motivator for pushing teams to the next level and encouraging constructive communication.


Giving one-on-one feedback

When other team members are not involved, and to avoid calling out a single team member in front of their peers, feedback should be given one-on-one.


When should one-on-one feedback occur?

  • When other team members are not affected by the behaviour and have no information to provide.
  • When you want to help the person prepare for receiving group feedback
    • Allows the giver to explain his/her reasoning for addressing the issue in a group setting
    • Mentally prepares them for receiving and giving feedback in the meeting
  • When coaching team members after they have received feedback
    • An opportunity to identify what needs to be done and create a plan for implementing feedback
    • Coaching is in addition to—not instead of—a team meeting

Giving feedback to a Manager

Providing constructive feedback to a manager can be a sensitive and challenging process, but it can also lead to positive changes in their leadership style and benefit the entire team.


Giving feedback to a manager


How to receive feedback in the workplace?

While receiving recognition and approval feels good, it’s not always easy to receive critical feedback. It may trigger anxiety, frustration, or defensiveness. Understanding our natural responses to feedback is key to learning how best to give, as well as receive it.


How is feedback perceived?

Often, receiving feedback, especially critical feedback, is a visceral experience that manifests in our minds, bodies, and emotions.


Signs of Stress

  • In anticipation of a feedback session, heart rate and blood pressure may increase in response to feelings of stress
  • They may experience classical symptoms of a “threat response,” also known as “fight or flight”
  • In these stressful situations, it can be more difficult to hear and accept feedback
  • Some people may respond with explanations, defensiveness, or even aggression


Focusing on Negativity


Receiving critical feedback can sometimes trigger a negativity bias, which is the universal tendency for negative events and emotions to affect us more strongly than positive ones.

  • Negativity bias is especially strong these days due to heightened stress from the various worrying occurrences around the world, such as Covid-19 and war
  • When coping with negativity bias, the feedback recipients are more likely to retaliate against and experience negative feelings toward the giver


Understanding the 3 Feedback Triggers


Though critical feedback isn’t always easy to hear, it is always for your benefit. Thankfully, receiving feedback with clarity of mind involves learnable skills, such as identifying and addressing the three feedback triggers.


triggers of feedback


Tips for receiving feedback

Productively processing feedback requires continuous reflection and conversation. Most of all, it requires practice, especially when it comes to identifying and managing emotions and extracting value from criticism, even when poorly delivered.



Be neutral and open

When going into a feedback session, receive feedback without judgment, neither agreeing or rejecting it. Be aware of any emotional feelings that might occur, but do not act on them.

  • Always assume positive intent
  • Use mirroring to help you remain neutral
  • While responding, remember body language and tone of voice often speak louder than words
  • Thank the giver for their feedback and mean it, show them appreciation


Ask for clarification

If you receive vague feedback, ask the giver to clarify what they were commenting on. If positive, you’ll know to continue this behavior. If negative, ask for the giver to be more specific in the feedback. What could be done differently?

  • It doesn’t need to be immediate; take your time to reflect and come back with questions later


Process  in private

Let the feedback metabolize and consider how it makes you feel.


Consider why you are receiving this feedback

Be objective as you ask yourself why you might have received this feedback.

  • What action sparked this feedback?
  • How might implementing this feedback help me advance, the team work more effectively, the company advance in its mission?


Start to implement the feedback

Remember, you won’t be able to immediately fix the problem. It will take time and practice, so don’t be hard on yourself if the change doesn’t occur all at once.

  • Think about what you’ve heard and decide on an action
  • Don’t over-engineer or overdo your response
  • Especially important if you haven’t discussed an action plan with the feedback giver


Ask for perspective

Once you’ve begun to implement feedback, ask your leaders and other people who are impacted by the feedback if they have experienced a difference since you’ve begun implementing changes.


Keeping all these feedback aspects in mind, will help to introduce a healthy feedback culture in remote companies.

Feedback should be given consistently, and it should mostly be positive. Remember that feedback is more than the words you speak. Different elements of personal communication and the relationship between giver and receiver influence feedback and the way it is perceived.