Create a Positive Impact from Negative Feedback

Create a Positive Impact from Negative Feedback

Negative feedback can make us bitter or better

Robin Sharma

According to a study documented by the Harvard Business Review, 92% of the respondents agreed with the assertion, “Negative (redirecting) feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.

But, do you always get the performance improving impact you want from this uncomfortable discussion?

If not, then today, I will share with you a model you can use to create the positive impact you want from negative feedback.

Negative Feedback Model


Feedback must be timely to ensure it’s fresh in your mind and the mind of the person receiving the negative feedback. If it’s too late, then it won’t be acknowledged.


How you approach someone to arrange a time to discuss negative feedback is key to getting them in the correct mindset to receive it.

If I said to you any of the following:

  1. I need to talk to you later.
  2. Come to my office at 3. We need to talk.
  3. Please come to my office.

How would you feel?

You would probably be feeling anxious and fearful. I know I would be.

In a fearful state, you’re listening out for anything to reduce the fear rather than the feedback itself.

The key to the approach is to use language not to invoke fear:

  • Do you have 5 minutes? – I want to get your feedback on something.
  • Do you have time at 3? – I want to run something past you.
  • Do you have time for a coffee?

Fear may kick in after giving the feedback, but at least the approach you have used will put the receiver in the mindset to listen to it.

Positive Intention

When you give the feedback, ensure you are giving it to help the receiver and not just point out what they have done wrong. If the receiver feels this positive intent from you, they will be more likely to acknowledge and act on it.


Ensure the negative feedback you give is evidence-based. This way, it does not become a discussion on opinions, feelings or anything else.


Ensure you keep the conversation open and allow the person receiving the feedback time to respond. There may be something you are not aware of, especially if this is unusual behaviour.

Follow Up

Ensure you both agree on the next actions, document the discussion and book a meeting in the future to discuss progress.

Negative Feedback Coaching Challenge

This model works well with both positive and negative feedback and will build trust, improve relationships and increase team performance.

My coaching challenge to you is to print out this model and test its impact next time you feedback. It’s a living model so ensure you update it from your learnings.

I’m always open to feedback on my work but only done in the right way.

Have an impactful week

ReferenceYour Employees Want the Negative Feedback You Hate to Give