Giving and receiving feedback

Given and received well, feedback can support people in achieving great things. Given or received badly, it can destroy relationships and confidence.

Feedback needs to be considered, planned and, more importantly, wanted. Giving feedback can be just as difficult as receiving it if it’s not done in a way that is to benefit the receiver – feedback should never be about the giver, it should always be about helping the receiver perform better, gain knowledge, improve skills, etc.

We know that emotions play a role in how feedback is received, but by using a simple structured approach, and removing emotion and any personal comments, it’s possible for even the most difficult feedback to be given and received well.

Try the SEE/SAW feedback model:


  • State – Specifically, describe in a rich picture, what the person has said/done
  • Explain – The impact on yourself, others, the results
  • Express – The desired behaviour going forward from your perspective; explore options


  • State – Specifically, the behaviour you want feedback on and why
  • Ask – For advice and suggestions – what should you start, stop, do more of, do less of?
  • Weigh up (later reflection) – The advice; decide what you want to experiment with to improve your impact; be specific – what, how, who with, when?

If you’re giving feedback, particularly in the moment, think about how you can use some TGROW question for the ‘explore options’ element in SEE.


If you’re interested in the above, have a look at our Coaching skills training. Or give us a call on 01582 463461 – we’re here to help!

Categories: Coaching

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