How To GIVE Valuable Feedback While Motivating Others To Improve (Part 1)


“Do it better.”

How would you feel if you got this feedback from your boss? How would it affect your motivation?

Giving valuable feedback isn’t easy. For feedback to be of value to the receiver it’s got to be clear and concrete.

Above all, it should provide guidance and be delivered with a “human touch” (for more on human needs, see 6 Ways You Don’t Want to Give Feedback).

Nothing is more demotivating than feedback that makes you feel bad and doesn’t provide any clear direction – especially if you’ve spent a lot of time and effort preparing (e.g. a presentation*).

To help you give valuable feedback to others while motivating them to “do it better”, here are 5 key ingredients:

Feedback Exchange 1:

Boss (B):  “I’m sorry, but you need to give better presentations…”

Direct Report (DR):  “Umm. OK. How do you want me to do it differently?”

B:  “You need more current facts and figures so that we can see your research is relevant to our current situation, for example.”

What key ingredient is missing in the boss’ first statement?

Ingredient 1:  Clear Wish

*To boost your presenting impact, see video 5 Keys to Communicate w Impact.


Feedback Exchange 2:

DR:  “OK. Can you give me an example of what you mean?”

B:  “Yes. The presentation you gave on last year’s final results comparing our figures of the last 3 years with the same figures of our competitors was helpful to understand the overall business climate.

DR:  “Oh, OK.  I can do more comparisons like that, sure.”

What key ingredient is still missing for the direct report?

Ingredient 2:  Concrete Example


Feedback Exchange 3:

DR:  “So next time will you tell me if I do it the way you like? Or if something is still missing for you?”

B:  “Yes, I’ll make sure and tell you in either case.”

DR:  “Great. That way I’ll know if I’m on the right track.”

What key ingredient does the direct report need for measuring progress?

Ingredient 3:  Follow-Up Feedback


Feedback Exchange 4:

DR:  “As I prepare presentations quite often it’s going to take me a lot of time to do this extra research…so do you really think it’s absolutely necessary to change my style? I mean, is the extra benefit really big enough?”

B:  “Absolutely. With current information at hand you’ll be much more convincing. You’ll gain a lot of credibility with your peers and superiors, as well!”

What key ingredient does the boss use to convince the direct report?

Ingredient 4:  Clear Benefit


Feedback Exchange 5:

DR:  “And during busy periods do I have your understanding if I fall behind on my other work – I’m sure I’ll need more time for the extra research.”

B:  “Yes, of course. Please come to me during these times and we can look at your other tasks and together decide if we need to re-prioritize.”

What final key ingredient does the direct report need to make this improvement?

Ingredient 5:  Your Support



Carbs, protein, vitamins – a few of the key elements for a meal to provide you with sustenance to live and prosper. It’s no different for feedback.

To give you more clarity on what they look like, here are the 5 key elements plus 5 impulses:

  1. Clear Wish – Tell them exactly what you’d like.
  2. Concrete Example – Take one from their best moments (for optimal motivation*).
  3. Follow-Up Feedback – Give praise and/or constructive criticism.
  4. Clear Benefit – Tell them specifically why it’s in their best interest.
  5. Your Support – Offer your full support to enable them.

 *For more ideas and strategies, see The Secret to Motivating Others.


Have you have tried any of the techniques in this article? Or others that worked well? Thanks for sharing YOUR ideas & strategies below.

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