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.

Don't let 1-on-1s slip into the ineffective and monotonous territory of simple status reports and progress checks. Get 100+ questions to improve your 1-on-1s and use them to engage your people, uncover issues, and unleash potential. 

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.

More Content by Todd Davis
Previous Article
Common 1-on-1 Mistakes
Common 1-on-1 Mistakes

1-on-1's are a great way to regroup with your team members and correct any issues that might arise. You can...

Next Article
How To Prepare To Give Difficult Feedback
How To Prepare To Give Difficult Feedback

Giving feedback can create significant growth within direct reports, but giving difficult feedback isn't al...

7 Ways to Be More Proactive

Download Guide