The five stages of receiving Developmental Feedback

Receiving Developmental feedback is often difficult and by human nature we don’t want to hear or accept it. However, remember it should be treated as a gift and if delivered correctly (timely and with specific examples) it should be useful in developing an individual within their role.

Typically the stages an individual will go through when receiving developmental feedback are shown below.

  1. Denial (‘It wasn’t my fault.’)
  2. Anger/Emotion (‘How dare they say that about me’.)
  3. Rationalisation (‘The only reason I did it was because…….’)
  4. Acceptance (‘I think I can see now why they might think that way’)
  5. Action (‘I had better do something about it’)

The early stages of this model should be expected. However, with the correct delivery, specific examples and time to reflect, the individual should get through to the latter stages quite quickly. Practice makes perfect, the more regularly you start giving and receiving feedback the more natural it will become and the less defensive people will be in receiving it.

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Examples of giving feedback

Giving either type of feedback can be challenging, below are some examples of how to deliver effective and useful feedback.

Motivational Feedback

  • One thing I particularly like about you is…
  • I really appreciated it when you….
  • Something I’ve noticed you do particularly well is…
  • One of your real strengths is…

Developmental Feedback

  • What I’d like you to consider the next time is…
  • When you did xxx it made me feel yyy…
  • One thing I feel you could improve upon in your job is…
  • I’m concerned that when you do xxx it will…

Although Motivational Feedback can and should be delivered independently, Developmental Feedback should be delivered by first giving Motivational Feedback.

Example:

“I really appreciated the detail that you included in the last performance report to the client, he reported back he was so glad to see those additional performance measures. (Motivational) One area to consider next time is additional time required in preparing this information as the client was a little concerned that the report was delivered two days late.” (Developmental)

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