Have more of an impact with your feedback

From WeAreTheCity’s Future Leader’s Blog

We give feedback all the time; we do it implicitly without explicitly calling it out as feedback.


We give and receive feedback all of the time, it is important for our success. Informally or formally we are giving others our thoughts and opinions as part of our daily life. The differentiating factor is the how we give those opinions.

Without feedback you are flying blind.

Let’s look at a really effective model for giving and receiving feedback.

Without feedback you are flying blind

The TOP feedback formula shows you how you first think about the other person’s behaviour, which you have observed. You then consider what IMPACT you think those behaviours have on the Team, the Organisation and finally on you Personally, with a specific focus on how it makes you feel. In our experience that personal emotional impact is what helps people realise the effect they have on others more than anything else. That creates transformational change rather than just intellectual understanding. It helps people to really get it deep down.

The final component of the formula is your suggestion for what they could do going forward. Keep in mind this could and of course should also be reinforcements of what is working well, if you have observed a powerful behaviour in someone that you want to reinforce.

This is what the feedback can sound like; here is how the character Samuel received feedback (in our book “The Team Formula”):

“What I really like about you Samuel is the amount of knowledge that you have of this business and of this organisation. It has an impact on the Team because we have access to you; you can help us to figure out a way around some of the issues we face. You know who to go to if we need help to get something done. I would like to see you do more of it though.”

 “For the Organisation, you are very experienced and that is incredibly valuable. For me Personally, I am comfortable with your level of understanding of our business and asking you to help me out. Once again, I would like more of it and would like you to volunteer that rather than me always having to ask you for it. The impact on the Team is that I don’t feel you are a part of it and you don’t really support us. I would like you to feel more a part of this team. To the Organisation we don’t appear to have a united front as I am never sure how you with represent us to others.”

 “To me Personally, it is sometimes difficult to work with you because you are not very forthcoming. You don’t volunteer information or share with us, you don’t seek us out. I therefore avoid working with you, which is not good for the team, the organisation or me. I think we could make more of an impact on the results if we worked together better. What I would like you to do is to get involved more, share more with us and show support for us, as a team, to other areas of the business.”

Feedback is a gift

© Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn

It may sound funny, but feedback really is a gift.

So if you want to be generous with your feedback to your peers, direct reports, manager or others, use this TOP feedback model to create feedback that lasts and has a real, positive impact.

About the authors

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of “The Team Formula”.

Their latest book, multi-award-winning “Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book at www.leadingteamsbook.com

Praise for Leading Teams: I bought in from the first paragraph; ten chapters of real and practical examples on how to lead a team with characters skilfully portraying the tensions faced by leaders every day. A leadership masterclass.” – Lynn Hill, Deputy CEO, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Turst, Hertfordshire.

Author: Mandy and Elisabet

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