Feedback is Always a Gift

 “Feedback is the breakfast of champions”

Apple has a concept called fearless feedback. When their employees see something that is good or bad they take a moment as soon as possible to 1. Assume the positive. 2. Ask permission to give feedback. 3. Give specific details. 4. Listen. The best part of it all is the culture they create that anyone can give feedback to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a new hire, you have the responsibility to give feedback, even to a leader. 

This type of feedback culture is very powerful. A leader who I heard speak recently said “feedback is always a gift”. Now those words alone are just that, words. But if you look at the mindset behind it, and truly internalize it, you will see their true power. If you have the mindset that feedback is always a gift your outlook on feedback totally changes. Who doesn’t love to give or receive a gift? What do people generally say when they receive a gift? Thank you! 

Let’s break down those steps and see how important it is to create a culture of feedback.

  1. Assume the positive. I like to call this coming at it curious.  If you have feedback that is negative, assuming that something else is going on or asking questions about how that person is doing helps you get a framework for their feelings. It also breaks down any potential walls in the recipient of the feedback. 

  2. Ask permission. This gives the recipient power. If now isn’t the right time to receive feedback then you should respect that and ask when a good time would be. If they give you permission then they are bought in to receiving feedback.

  3. Be specific. No one wants to hear vague feedback. Your ability to articulate what you saw, when you saw it and your feelings about it is very powerful. Be brief and be specific.

  4. Listen. After you have given your feedback, allow for them to speak. Your job is to listen in this moment. How they respond will tell you more about them as an employee than almost any other situation.

Try this today. Give someone feedback. If you are struggling with this then try starting the conversation with “I believe feedback is always a gift...”. The next time that you receive feedback, good or bad, say “thank you, I truly believe feedback is a gift”. You will be amazed at the results.

Leadership Tip: Give more positive feedback then negative. People automatically assume that feedback is always negative. This is far from the truth! When you give positive feedback more than negative, you are helping create a culture that isn’t afraid of feedback. 


If you or your company is having trouble with feedback we want to help. Click the link below to contact us for one on one coaching or a group training.