4 Different Types of Feedback You can Ask For or Give

There are Four Different Types of Feedback That You Can Either Ask to Receive or That You Can Give to Another Person.

Feedback is always a tricky topic because it is often the ‘F’ word. Having connations of negativity. We’ve all had a boss say to us, ‘I’d like to give you some feedback’, with a tone of <Let me give to you straight and you won’t like it>. It is those situations where the roots of negative feedback are firmly embedded and have grown into the word ‘feedback’ becoming unpleasant and certainly not the constructive, helpful, and useful information that truly helps us to grow. A way that can help different types of feedback to become the useful product that it should be, is to provide us all with a language that enables us to give and receive the feedback that we need. That language is:

  • Shine feedback
  • Upgrade feedback
  • Clarity feedback
  • No, thanks feedback

By using these phrases we can more easily share what type of feedback we want to give and receive.

Four Different Types of Feedback Explained

Shine Feedback

You are looking to know where you did well. You may have tried something new and think it paid off. Your mental health is such that a bit of praise could really boost your confidence and that is much needed. Shone feedback is all about asking what you did well. Or it’s about offering shine feedback to someone to let them know how well they did.

Upgrade Feedback

Mentally, you’re in a good place, you’re willing to learn, and want to be the best that you can be. Upgrade feedback is where you ask what you could do better to be the best version of yourself. How you can improve. Offering to give upgrade feedback should be done with a confident, yet comforting tone. Not, as previous bosses have done, with a threatening tone.

Clarity Feedback

This type of feedback is about asking for feedback where you thought you might not have been clear. Maybe you communicated a message that you thought didn’t land or presented badly. Offering clarity feedback should be confined to whether the person was clear in the message they were communicating and should not be upgrade feedback disguised as clarity feedback.

No Thanks Feedback

Young woman saying thanks but no

This feedback does what it says on the tin – I don’t want any feedback, thank you. Either the giver or the receiver says that they are not in a place to give or received feedback because they are not ready to receive it – the receiver. Or because they are not ready to give it – the giver.  By using this language we can share that feedback that would have been previously given will probably not have landed anyway because the receiver was just not in a place to receive it. Feedback, ideally, needs to be asked for and not forced upon.

Questions Asked to Get the Feedback You Want to Give and Receive

The questions that the giver or receiver can I ask regarding each type of feedback are:

  • Shine feedback:
    • Giver – ‘Would you like to know where you shined?’
    • Receiver – ‘Where did I shine?’
  • Upgrade feedback:
    • Giver – ‘Would you like to know where you could upgrade?’.
    • Receiver – ‘ Where could I upgrade?’
  • Clarity feedback:
    • Giver – ‘Would you like to know where you could have been clearer?’
    • Receiver – ‘Where could I have been clearer?’
  • No, thanks feedback:
    • Giver – ‘I’m not in a place to give feedback. I hope that is ok with you’.
    • Receiver – ‘I am not in a place to receive feedback. I hope that is ok with you’.

In Real Life

Sticker with the inscription feedback hanging on a rope on a pink background

At Toastmasters International, the place where people learn to speak publically, after each speech the audience hand slips to the presenter with feedback. As the next speaker steps onto the stage, the previous speaker reads the slips to understand how they performed.

After each presentation, the language above should be used by the presenter and key members of the audience to share their thoughts. For example, an Account Manager presents to the buyer and then afterwards his boss and she chooses one of the 4 types of feedback above.

Advanced: 7 Types of Feedback

You have understood the 4 types of feedback. As with one version another always appears and 7 types of feedback has become popular in the last few years. Please use whichever you are most comfortable with. Thee is no right or wrong. Just what suits you. It is better to use a tool well, than have 3 tools that you don’t use.

Appreciation Feedback

Largely reserved for leaders to give and yet everyone likes to be praised. The challenge with this feedback is to go beyond the ‘well done’ and share the impact. The SBI feedback model provides a simple structure to help you to give feedback that lands well.

‘You did well at the presentation because the client really appreciated the extra effort on the shopper understanding. Well done’.

Guidance Feedback

Offering guidance is useful because it doesn’t come across as critical.

‘Last week in the team meeting you engaged well with the new team which helped them to bond quickly. For next time please share a little more about yourself because they’d like to know more about you.

Encouragement Feedback

Encouraging people is key to getting the best out of people and especially in a world where we understand the importance of mental health. Encouraging feedback is always well received when it is genuine.

‘Thank you all for staying late because it means we can hit the deadline. Thank you so much. You can do it!’.

Forward Feedback

Man standing with forward direction arrow

Leaders tend to do this feedback more because they have access to the strategy and the bigger picture. With this feedback they are sowing seeds of what needs to be achieved to fit with the future.

‘We need to be more appropriate with our language because our workforce will only become more diverse and we want to welcome those new diverse people’.

Coaching Feedback

The purest coach in me suggests that in coaching the coachee is never given feedback. The coach is there to ask questions and not to provide answers, even feedback. That said the practical everyday coach wears two hats, the coach and the mentor, at times. Only becoming a mentor temporarily in the sessions and always signposting so.

‘You are doing very well because I can see you exploring your mind, challenging yourself, and setting clear goals which will help you to be the very best version of you’.

Informal Feedback

As leaders and people managers, we need to combine formal and informal feedback. We need to feedback more often if we are to support our employees to be the very best version of themselves. The once-a-year appraisal feedback should be a summary of the year’s feedback and not a surprise.

‘I liked what you did in your email to the client yesterday because you were very clear’.

Formal Feedback

The once-a-year performance review should not surprise the employee as they should have been given feedback throughout the year. The feedback part of the discussion is about whether they are acting on the feedback, whether it works for them, and how the both of you can improve the feedback process together, by maybe giving feedback more often.

‘Versus your sales target, you have achieved it. Well done. This helps us as a company because we need to lead and demonstrate what is possible for the others’.

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