Coaching: Giving Feedback

By Jan Ferri-Reed

Coaching refers to managers and employees helping each other identify ways to enhance or improve individual and group effectiveness. This involves using active listening and positive response techniques to help each individual develop skills, leverage resources, acquire information and make decisions.

As a leader, you play a significant role in your organization’s future. Your assistance, guidance, direction, enthusiasm and willingness to grow could very well determine whether your team meets its objectives. Coaching will help maintain commitment in the workplace by helping employees:

  • Adapt to change
  • Acquire the skills, information, authority and resources they need to overcome obstacles
  • Develop and use their strengths and creativity

Recognizing Positives; Overcoming Negatives
“I never hear anything when I’ve done a good job but I always hear when I make a mistake?” Sound familiar? This is often the perception of employees when reflecting on feedback they have been given in the workplace. Leaders can change that perception by acknowledging and recognizing employees’ contributions on a daily basis. They can also take time to provide one-on-one feedback that highlights an employee’s positive performance. Unfortunately, many leaders spend most one-on-one time with employees in problem-solving discussions. The following model will help leaders conduct effective positive feedback sessions to credit employees’ positive performance and contribution.

KEYModel: Giving Recognition

  1. State the specific achievement.
  2. State why it was positive. Be specific about the impact on the team, goal attainment and the company.
  3. Ask the person to describe who or what contributed to his or her success.
  4. Encourage him/her to talk about obstacles that were overcome.
  5. Discuss how the achievement or behavior can benefit the team in the future.
  6. Express appreciation for the achievement.

Of course, at times it is necessary to give corrective feedback as well. The following model will help make the feedback process productive and non-threatening.

KEYModel: Giving Corrective Feedback
Use these steps when helping associates improve their behavior:

  1. State the specific behavior.
  2. Explain why the behavior is causing a problem.
  3. Give the person being confronted the chance to respond.
  4. Mutually establish the desired goal(s).

Decide on specific actions to be taken to avoid the problem in the future.

Jan-Ferri-ReedDr. Jan Ferri-Reed, is President of KEYGroup and provides businesses with insightful information to create engaged, productive and profitable multi-generational organizations. She is the co-author of the best-selling book, “Keeping the Millennials: Why Companies Are Losing Billions in Turnover to This Generation and What to Do About It.” To hire Jan, visit: or call 724-942-7900.

This article may be reprinted for your use in an organizational newsletter and or e-zine provided that you contact Kelly Hanna, Director of Sales and Marketing at 724-942-7900 to gain permission.