How to End Your Secret Struggles with Feedback


Can you relate to the following:

  • How many times do you work on a project and wish that someone would provide REAL feedback?
  • Wouldn't it be great if one person would relate to the content of your work and respond to you with valuable written or oral feedback?
  • Do you dream that you can continuously learn from your work? 
  • Do you strive to have your work be valuable to your colleagues and your organization? 
  • Is making an impact an aspiration for you? 


You probably often complete work (or parts of it), and then face either silence, or a stream of criticisms coated in “nice”, or feedback that arrives 2 minutes before a deadline!  This quickly leads to frustration, plain disappointment, and playing it "safe" the next time around.

Sometimes it can even feel like you work in isolation and are unclear about the meaning of your work in the larger scheme of things.

What if the ToRs had specified “you will work long and hard and the feedback on the content, progress, quality and relevance of your work will mostly be unsatisfying to you”…, would you have signed up?

The “less-than-ideal feedback reality” is unfortunate because you (and everybody else) are built for meaningful and authentic dialogue and feedback to learn and move your projects and yourself forward.

Rather than being frustrated or resorting to the corridor-complaining game, you can move yourself forward and generate feedback of high quality and value. 

Working with self-feedback can serve your projects and your larger life.  Through self-feedback you will review what you have done, learn from the experience, and be able to skillfully make choices and move on.



1.  What did I do?

2.  Why did I do it?

3.  What did I achieve?

4.  What did I learn and what could I have done differently?

5.  Am I proud of my work? why or why not?

6.  How is the next step the right thing for my project?

7.  How does the next step specifically utilize my skill-set and talents?


The seven questions will generate quality self-feedback and allow you to understand.... what has happened in the past, what is next, and your unique role.

These questions are flexible and can be used in many situations, personal and professional, from small projects to larger life changing questions.

The feedback tool can be made more powerful by creating two versions: the public and private versions. 

The public version can be drawn up and adapted as needed to share with your colleagues and supervisors as a way of giving them feedback on the project, because...

Who created the rule that feedback can only go one way?

The private version can be used for yourself – 100% honesty required - to gauge your own personal progress, allow you to understand more about how the task felt to you, and clarify how to utilize and highlight your talents in your chosen next steps.

Being able to generate your own feedback is empowering as it reduces frustration, mitigates disappointment, and allows you to move your task and yourself forward.  On a deeper level, it allows you to stay connected with how your work is feeling to you and to stay more aligned with your personal mission and values

These seven questions are partly adapted from “The leadership Challenge” by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner


If you could change 3 things about the feedback reality in your organization, what would they be?

If you could change 3 things about the feedback reality in your intimate relationships or your family, what would they be? 


Print the 7 questions and put them in a place where they can help you- in your office, in your car, your bathroom mirror, work notebook, private journal, etc. Reminders do help!