Growth with Tough Feedback

Growth with Tough Feedback

TL;DR: Tough and direct feedback may be hard both for managers and employees, but when well performed it's a unique growth opportunity.

Providing positive feedback isn't always possible. While ignoring issues might seem tempting and easy in the short term, it's harmful in the long run for everyone involved.

You want to help your team members grow.

Stop sugarcoating them.

  • If there is something wrong, tell them.

  • If there is room for improvement, tell them.

I've been in both roles. I received tough feedback and I gave tough feedback. In both cases, the outcome was a 180° change: from passive listener to proactive member; from only completing assigned tasks to taking ownership and accountability; from drifting to having clear goals and aspirations.

Tough feedback is not strictly only from manager to employee, but between coworkers and in personal relationships outside of work.

Tips for taking advantage of tough feedback:


  • Take your time to reflectionate.

  • Write down your feelings and thoughts.

  • Don't be afraid to ask for clarifications.

  • Don't take it personal! It's up to you to use this feedback in your favor. There is nothing wrong with you, we all are trying to improve together.


  • Without trust, there is nothing: the feedback's receiver needs to trust that the giver has good interests and truly wants to help.

  • Offer corrections in private and praise publicly.

  • Explain how their actions are affecting the team.

  • Relate feedback to specific tasks and behavior: provide examples.

  • Focus on the present and the future.

  • Provide resources for change. e.g: From simple daily check-ins to a detailed improvement plan

  • Don't miss the opportunity to tell them when they did something great and exceeded your expectations.

With all this said, don't underestimate positive feedback! We all like to be praised time to time.