Know When To Deliver Feedback

January 17, 2019 Todd Davis


Feedback is an essential element of effective leadership and a major tool when it comes to developing your team. Knowing when to deliver feedback and what to deliver feedback on will determine whether you use this tool effectively.

Learn to discern when it’s needed and when you should reserve comment. Use the following checklist to decide when to act.


  1. Is the person’s behavior wrong, or is it just different than you would do it?
  2. Is the person emotionally ready for feedback? If they’re under a lot of stress, you may want to wait. But remember, delaying feedback could make it less effective.
  3. What else is the person trying to change? Changing more than 1-2 behaviors at once can be overwhelming.  
  4. Is it serious enough to justify feedback? Behavior that threatens others must be dealt with immediately. But continually picking at minor issues that don’t really matter will eventually suffocate your team.
  5. Does the person ever perform the behavior correctly? If so, catch them doing it right and give them positive feedback instead.


If you make a habit of giving effective feedback, your team will learn to expect it. Chances are they’ll develop faster, too.


Leading people is vastly different from working as an individual contributor. Download our latest guide to make the mental leap to leader:

About the Author

Todd Davis

Todd Davis has over 30 years of experience in human resources, training and training development, executive recruiting, sales, and marketing. Todd is currently a member of the FranklinCovey Executive Team where he serves as the Chief People Officer. He is also a bestselling author with two books to his credit, Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work and Talent Unleashed: 3 Leadership Conversations for Tapping the Unlimited Potential of People.

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