The Secret to Giving Brain-Friendly Feedback

Here’s a simple 4-step formula I learnt from Cognitive Psychologist, LeeAnn Renninger, to help us give clear, helpful feedback, without sounding critical.

Step 1: The Micro-Yes (Because Nobody Likes Surprises)

Start by asking a quick question to prepare the other person. This lets them know feedback is coming and gives them a chance to say yes or no.

Example:Do you have a minute to chat about the presentation?

This sets the pace and gets the other person involved from the beginning.

Step 2: Be Specific (No Blur Words!)

Skip vague words like “unprofessional” or “unorganised.” Instead, point out specific things you saw or heard.

Example:  In the presentation, some of the data wasn’t clear. Next time you could include charts to make it easier to understand.

Being specific helps the other person know exactly what to work on.

Step 3: Explain the Impact

Tell the person how their actions affected you. This helps them understand why the feedback matters.

Example:Because the data wasn’t clear, I wasn’t sure what conclusions to draw.

Explaining the impact creates a connection and makes the feedback more meaningful.

Step 4: Ask a Question

End with a question to involve the other person and turn it into a conversation.

Example:What do you think about using charts next time?

Asking a question encourages them to participate and find solutions together.

Bonus Tip: Ask for Feedback Too!

Great feedback givers also ask for feedback on themselves. This shows you’re open to learning and helps you improve.

Remember: Don’t wait for feedback to happen. Ask for it regularly!

Ready to put these tips into action? Try giving feedback using this formula today! You might be surprised at how well it goes.

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Foto Christine Sparks

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