Nine Guidelines for Getting and Using Feedback

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

~ Ken Blanchard

Nine Guidelines for Getting and Using Feedback

By Roger Connors and Tom Smith

  • “Feedback doesn’t just happen. You have to make it happen.
  • Seeking constructive feedback can be scary. Remind yourself that whomever you’re asking feedback from is already thinking about you a certain way anyway; you’re just hearing what they already believe.
  • It’s easier for people to offer positive rather than negative observations. You have to ask for constructive feedback. Try ‘What can I do better? instead of ‘What am I doing wrong?’
  • Most people believe others want positive rather than constructive feedback, so you might have to convince them you really want to know what they think by just telling them that you value their honesty and opinion – no matter what it is.
  • Do not let constructive feedback, no matter how unpleasant, color your view of the person who’s trying to help. Express sincere gratitude for their willingness to offer feedback in the first place.
  • Make getting feedback a habit, not a one-time thing.
  • Seek feedback even when you believe things are going great. This helps you to stay Above The Line.
  • After getting feedback, ask if it’s okay to follow up with the person down the road, even suggest meeting again for a reality check just to keep yourself in line.
  • Finally, be nice to yourself. You can’t make any important changes overnight (p. 60-61).”

From: Connors, R. and Smith, T. (2014). The wisdom of oz. New York, The Penguin Group.

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


Turn these guidelines into action steps by selecting one person to elicit feedback from, and then go do it! Share below what you learned by asking for feedback.