The Truth About Feedback

Feedback happens in a moment, but its effects can last a career. Feedback is defined as providing someone with your observations about something that you witnessed in order to provide him or her with information he or she can use to repeat success, improve performance, and correct deficiencies.

Take our 9 question true/false quiz about giving effective feedback without looking at the answers. Then see the answer key for how you did.

Giving feedback is an important management and leadership skill. If you are a member of management, recognize that your people will naturally look to you for feedback on how they are doing. Your feedback can build a sense of confidence in others and communicate that you care about them. Conversely, a lack of feedback can create a feeling of isolation and lack of interest in their success.

T or F Instructions: Review the statement and choose T or F, then answer why (your rationale). Rationale to Support Your Answer
1. In the absence of hearing otherwise, employees assume they are doing well.
2. According to HR Magazine, receiving positive feedback (“recognition”) ranks ahead of money as a personal motivator.
3. People only value a thank you if it is heartfelt and sincere.
4. Consistently recognizing good performance or behavior makes the person want to keep doing it. A lack of this promotes disinterest.
5. It is the bi-weekly paycheck that tells employees that you care about them, not recognition.
6. Employees will more likely listen to corrective feedback if their supervisor is consistently giving positive feedback.
7. Employees respond better to general and broad comments about their performance rather than focusing in on just one or two specifics.
8. The final step in providing feedback to an employee (whether positive or corrective) is a SINCERE THANK YOU.
9. Effective feedback includes letting an employee know of the effect of his or her performance on the team.

Now for the answer key:

1. F – Employees simply don’t understand where they stand with you when they hear nothing – they actually assume that you dislike them!

2. T – In the nationwide survey feedback ranked as the number 2 motivator; money was number 5.

3. T – An insincere compliment is worse than no compliment at all.

4. T – People will usually respond to corrective feedback when they have been the recipient of positive and instructive feedback.

5. F – Recognition is seen by most people as you expressing value in them.

6. T – When feedback is balanced between being positive, instructive, and corrective, people are more willing to hear it and accept it.

7. F – In order for feedback to be of value, it needs to be specific. Only specific feedback can be actionable or or encourage repeat performance. In the other hand, general or vague feedback seems insincere to most people.

8. T – Thanking someone for a job well done, or a commitment to improve, is critical in letting someone know he or she is valued and respected, and not just taken for granted.

9. T – Whether positive or negative, letting someone know how others have been affected allows the employee to understand the impact of what he or she did. Always tie specific performance to how it impacts the whole team in order to foster teamwork.

This article was excerpted from Boyer Management Group’s Leading Through People leadership development program. Boyer Management Group works with employers and job seekers alike to help both become more successful. For employers, we offer world-class workshops, training, selection and onboarding tools and programs. For job seekers, we offer the world’s first assessment to measure an individual’s knowledge and awareness of current and emerging career search best practices, along with the educational programs to support higher ed curriculum, career coaches and individual job seekers. To find out more, please visit us at, email us at, or
call us at 215-942-0982.


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