Tips on How to Give Effective GODLY Feedback

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Tips on How to Give Effective GODLY Feedback

Constructive critiques focus on what people have done and can do, rather than targeting their character or personality. If people believe their failures result from personal, unchangeable deficits, they lose hope and stop trying. The very foundation of all relationship is that we are all created in God’s image. Can you see the people you are leading as God’s “BELOVED”?

Let them know that the setbacks and mistakes they have made are just that:

“setbacks and mistakes”                 

When you lead well, you will find that those you lead can change and with good feedback there will be less and mess setbacks and mistakes. Start the feedback loop early so the challenges are smaller and less rooted.

This is a common reason people contact me for coaching services ( they need to develop feedback loop process for their leadership development and the development of their people.

Prior to coaching either feedback has been poorly delivered, or poorly received. Remember the tongue is a most powerful tool. The Bible says: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

Using a coach can help clear up limiting beliefs and assumptions so that feedback can be used effectively.

Psychologist and corporate consultant Harry Levinson provides the following suggestions for delivering praise and criticism:

1.      Be specific. Focus on the actual behavior, using verbs instead of judgmental adjectives. Communicate clear facts that people can understand and act upon. Describe what people did and how they did it. If you wish to address a pattern or habit, pick one significant incident that illustrates the key problem. Describe what the person did poorly and how it can be changed. Ask the reflective question: “When have you experienced the same feedback or what memories come to mind that might show a pattern that can be improved upon?” Finding patterns is a huge opportunity for growth. Don’t beat around the bush or try to be evasive. The same rules apply to giving praise. Specificity is required for learning.

God’s wisdom is: “teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth, so that you bring back truthful reports to those you serve?” Proverbs 22:21

2.      Offer a solution. A critique should identify ways to fix a problem. Otherwise, it only serves to demoralize and demotivate. Try to open the door to unexplored possibilities and alternatives. Your suggestions can provide a broader perspective or context. Remember that awareness is the most important step towards a solution.

Biblical solutions always align with God’s guidance that we are to display love and humility.

3.      Be present and Listen Critiques and praise are most effective face-to-face and in private. Don’t try to ease your own discomfort by giving them from a distance or in writing. You need to be fully present and allow the recipient to respond and seek clarification.

Listening well may reveal facts unknown or challenges unseen. When you are “with” people, you honor and value them as human beings. This is the most important part of the process and can create the bridges towards change or a peaceful road out.

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”   James 1:19 | NIV 

4.      Start positive and be sensitive: Remember to start with a positive. You can always find a positive. You are “for them”, you want their best. Be attuned to the impact of what you say and how you say it. Even when your intentions are positive, you don’t know how your message will be received. Your greatest empathy skills are required. Criticism can be destructive. Instead of opening a path for correction, you may unintentionally provoke a backlash of resentment. Criticism is best used as an opportunity to work together to solve a problem, but you need to make this clear. 

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”  1Peter 3:8

What are your thoughts about how well you last gave feedback?

Was it delivered well, or poorly?

I'd love to hear your stories!

Aim for a “Coaching Culture” that build trust and seeks growth. Perhaps now is the time to receive coaching so you can be more effective in all your relationships.

Text me at 714-267-2818 or email me at

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