Giving Effective Performance Feedback

Quote of the Week

“Education should be gentle and stern, not cold and lax.”
— Joseph Joubert

Giving Effective Performance Feedback

by Charles D. Kerns

  1. Be specific. Specificity provides useful information to help focus possible behavior change.
  2. Focus on goals and key actions. Focus on helping others take actions, either proactive or corrective, to enhance their performance.
  3. Provide at the proper time. It is typically most effective to give feedback immediately after performance.
  4. Make it helpful. Effective feedback is intended to improve performance and make the employee a more valuable asset.
  5. Ensure understanding of the message. Ask the recipient to restate the major points to verify that he or she understood you; observe non-verbal expressions of understanding and acceptance.
  6. Be on target. Effective feedback must be reliable and valid. (Kerns, 2005, p.106-107).”

Kerns, C. (2005). Value-centered ethics: a proactive system to shape ethical behavior. Amherst, MA: HRD Press.

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114,

Coaching Call to Action

Many of my clients are giving and receiving performance reviews at this time of year. In addition to the once a year meeting to discuss performance, Kerns points out that effective performance feedback needs to be an ongoing process. What will you do this week to improve your performance feedback skills?