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Avoid defensiveness, be open to receiving and give specific balance feedback.

Marcus leads a team meeting to develop positive feedback approaches, but Carol presents Serena with a less-than-glowing critique. Tammy praises Casey for her support but asks her to avoid telling long stories. Dion commends Carlos for being approachable, but worries that he has encouraged Carlos’ tendency to make jokes about women in the office. Sanjay welcomes Sam’s endorsement of his opinions, but says Sam’s noisy breathing interferes with his ability to concentrate. Throughout the session, Marcus recommends welcoming feedback, staying calm and not defensive, openly discussing the problem and its impact on performance, linking the feedback to rules and agreements, asking the other person for their view and suggestions for solutions, and listening. Sam later gives Michael feedback, thanking him but also criticizing his negative tendencies, and recommends that he be more constructive. Michael praises Sam for his policy-writing skills, but deplores his habit of bringing up their personal lives during work hours. Both agree to work on their faults. Marcus advises the team to be open to feedback, but postpones the team’s opportunity to assess him.

  Key Learning Points

Giving positive feedback motivates people. Constructive feedback improves performance.


DON’T avoid feedback
INSTEAD: Discuss feedback respectfully

DON’T only criticize
INSTEAD: Give balanced and specific feedback

DON’T be defensive or upset
INSTEAD: Welcome feedback to improve

DON’T exaggerate and blame
INSTEAD: Take responsibility and solve issues

This is available as part of

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Conflict / Difficult People
Feedback / Coaching
Managing Performance / Appraisals
Year of Release
Video Running Time (minutes)
Course ID


Leaders Guide
PowerPoint Slides

Only preview versions of handouts can be viewed without a license.

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