How to Give Feedback - The Management Consulting Formula | Wolf-Dieter Perlitz | Skillshare

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How to Give Feedback - The Management Consulting Formula

teacher avatar Wolf-Dieter Perlitz, Project Manager & Entrepreneur

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Your Class Project


    • 3.

      Why Feedback is Important


    • 4.

      How to Structure Your Feedback: The BIS Structure


    • 5.

      Step 1: B Specify the Behaviour


    • 6.

      Step 2: I Describe the Impact


    • 7.

      Step 3: S Make a Suggestion


    • 8.

      Real Life Example


    • 9.

      Feedback Ground Rules


    • 10.

      Tips, Tricks and Tripwires


    • 11.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

In this class, you will learn how to prepare and deliver constructive feedback to anyone, your friends, your peers and even your boss. Learn why feedback is important, how to find the right words for honest and open feedback and how to provide it confidently. You will get an easy hands-on step-by-step recipe for any feedback you want to deliver.

Your teacher is Dr. Wolf-Dieter Perlitz, co-founder of Loving Local and Breakfast for Champions and former Management Consulting Project Leader. 

Feedback messages can contain positive, negative and neutral critique but it is typically the negative points, that most people find difficult to bring across. Many ask: How do I convey criticism and a wish for change confidently and politely without triggering rejection and defensive discussion.

You will learn all this and more in this class. You will learn why feedback is an important part of professional communication and how you can obtain and master this valuable skill.

Key lessons include:

  • Why feedback is important
  • What are the building blocks for perfect feedback
  • How to avoid defensive attitude, anger & rejection 
  • How feedback should be given: An easy hands-on step-by-step recipe

You will get a balanced mix of theory and practical tips and examples for your perfect feedback message. Understand, why you should pay attention to little trigger words, that can have big unwanted effects like rejection, anger and defensive attitude. Learn, how to chose instead the right words with which your feedback will improve the performance of your team.

The class finishes with valuable tips on feedback from my experience in a big management consulting company with a strong feedback culture. I find these hints, that go above and beyond the right structure and words for feedback, super helpful and worth considering when preparing and delivering feedback.The most important hints are: a) Understand, that feedback is not a negotiation for agreement b) Acknowledge that feedback is full of emotions. I explain what they mean and why I find them very important in lesson 10.

This class is designed for all skill levels. You may be a team leader / project manager aiming to hone your people development skills, a team member who wants to deliver feedback to your boss & colleagues, a new starter at a company with a strong feedback culture or a friend & partner who wants to say something difficult to the people you care about. If you are ready to dive into how perfect feedback works, this class is for you.

Delivering constructive feedback is an important part of effective communication. Big corporations and management consulting companies know about the power of feedback and how it improves the performance of all. That’s why they invest heavily in teaching their employees and team managers especially in honing this skill.

Now it's time to unlock your ability to bring your feedback and improvement point across, specify a certain behavior, describe the impact that it had on you and what you wish the other one to change on and to do all that confidently and honestly! 

I wish you a lot of fun with this class and I am looking forward to exchange with you on feedback! 

Check these links for further training on management consulting skills:

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Wolf-Dieter Perlitz

Project Manager & Entrepreneur


Hello, we are Wolf-Dieter and Sebastian. We are passionate about entrepreneurship and people.

Our Goal:

We help you to advance your career and become a more respected leader, friend and spouse. You will learn how to improve your communication skills, increase your productivity and become a better listener with easy to implement tipps. 

In Short: We provide you the Breakfast for Champions!

Who we are:

We are startup founders and former project leads at a top management consulting company.

Together, we are very happy to share our experience of the last 10 years from graduating top universities among the top 5%, gaining job offers from different top management consulting companies and having leadership roles in one of the bigge... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Wolf. I'm a startup founder and former Project Lead at a top management consulting company. If you were ever annoyed by another person's behavior, but you did not know how to address it with the right words. This class is right for you. In this class you will learn how to provide valuable feedback to anyone, your friends, your colleagues, and even your boss. That means you will learn to convey a constructive message containing a wishful improvement or change to someone. And you will learn to convey it confidently and honestly. You will get a hands on step-by-step guide that will help you to formulate honest and constructive feedback to anyone. Let's talk about our class project next. 2. Your Class Project: Your class project is to prepare one great feedback containing one improvement point for a person who care about. You will, together with my step-by-step explanation, formulate a text that you can later memorize or use as guidance for your feedback conversation. The resulting texts will typically have 100 to 200 birds in the end. When having finalized your class project, you will feel well-prepared for your feedback conversation and we'll be able to confidently convey your improvement point. I'm looking forward to see your feedback for the people you care about. Let's start with our first lesson why feedback is important. 3. Why Feedback is Important: The only way people learn and become better at what they do is by feedback. We get feedback by nature when we learned how to walk by the market and clients when we try to sell our products. And by people who give us tips and tell us how to improve when we invite them to do so and listen to their feedback. The famous manager can blazar put it in one sentence? Feedback is the breakfast of champions. Another way to look at it stems from carol Robin. She says, feedback is a gift. It's data I didn't have before. Delivering feedback regularly allows us to change and shape the world we live in. And it's a powerful tool to get negative thoughts and feelings of your chest. Delivering feedback to the people you care about helps you to deepen your relationship and to avoid clashes. Now let's dive into this. How to build the feedback that helps you deepen the relationship and bring your improvement point honestly and confidently across. 4. How to Structure Your Feedback: The BIS Structure: How to structure any feedback. The structure that I'm about to give you is good for any feedback that you would like to convey to anyone. It doesn't matter whether it is for a colleague that you need to criticize or for a friend that you have an improvement of wish for or for your boss that you would like to make a little change. The structure that I always use and that proved to be very helpful for me is called B I, S. B stands for behavior. I stands for impact, and S stands for suggestion. Any feedback that you would like to bring across you should structure in this way. You start with describing a specific behavior or situation. You follow it by describing the impact that this behavioral head on you. And you finish by making a suggestion or a wish for improvement to that person. You should remember the structure very well because the BAS structure serves as your anchor point. Whenever the conversation becomes difficult or even go sideways, you can come back to this BIS structure. Now let's drill one level deeper and see how exactly this is put together. 5. Step 1: B Specify the Behaviour: Let's have a look at the behavior first. Step number one is pick a specific behavior or situation and describe it. Describe it using IM messages. I heard, I saw, I noticed. Pay attention to using plain language. The important point here is that your counterpart understands what behavior you're mean and what their specific situation loss. Let's take a look at a few good examples. Yesterday and the day before I saw that you dropped your socks right in front of the laundry basket instead of putting it in or in a business context. During our meeting this morning, I noticed you did not take any notes in our workshop this morning, I noticed you were mainly observing the participants and set almost nothing. One cautionary note here when describing the behavior or situation, makes sure you avoid these two things. Number one, don't use Read Aloud words like always as usual or never because these words make your feedback sound like a required or something that you've been saving and building up for month only to bring it to the table now. And number 2, cuddled every word that is not objective. Let's take a look at this bad example to demonstrate what I mean. I noticed yesterday you were too lazy to bring up the garbage. In this sentence. The judgment is already baked in. We're too lazy, so it's not a fair objective observation anymore. This sentence will trigger rejection and anger immediately. Now it's your turn, your task. Pick one specific behavior of a person that you would like to change, and pick one specific situation in which you observed this behavior, makes sure the situation is not more than 10 days ago, and don't mix observations from different situations. Now describe the behavior and situation using high messages, as in the example shown, bullets are fine, but sentences will help you practice your feet back later. Remember, small words can have big unwanted effects. 6. Step 2: I Describe the Impact: Step number 2, describe the impact on your what effect had the described behavior on you? What impression did you get by what the person did or said, describe the impact that the behavior had on YouTube by describing how it impacted your work, or how you think about it, or how it made you feel and pay attention that you stick to the situation and the behavior. Let's take a look at these two examples. I felt alone with that huge task, or I could not continue with my task and my submission was delayed by two days. Notice how I use I messages instead of you messages when you use a UE message, you make a statement about that person. And if he or she thinks that the statement is untrue or unfair, they will get defensive, rejected, or even get angry. And IMS it, on the other hand, is much harder to challenge. So you can convey the same information without provoking a defensive reaction that would prevent them from taking it. Let's take a look at two examples to highlight that point. You want to use, I felt let down instead of you broke your world and you want to use I felt pushed around. Instead of you were bossing me. Now it's your turn again. Your task. Describe the impact that depicts behavior had on your with one sentence. Describe using IM messages, how their behavior impacted your work and make you feel and think. You can write it down and bullet, that's fine. But again, I recommend writing it down word for word because sentences will help you practice your feet back later. And remember, little words can have big unwanted effect. Now let's move to the third and final step of your feedback. 7. Step 3: S Make a Suggestion: Step number 3, make a suggestion. This is the constructive part of your feedback conversation. You and the feedback receiver are looking forward. You describe what behavior you would like to see. You describe what point you want the person to improve on when formulating your proposal. Don't make it overly general. Like in I want you to be more productive or I want you to help me more. Instead, describe specifically what you would like to see as a change. Use expressions like in the future, I would like you to put your socks into the laundry basket. Or in the business context. I would like to see you take more notes during our meetings. A powerful trick to get directly more commitment from the feedback receiver is by asking instead of demanding, for example, what do you think about putting your socks into the laundry basket and the future? Pay attention to two things. Number 1, before you get to your suggestion, makes sure that the feedback receiver has really understood what specific behavior and what specific situations you met. Otherwise, they won't be able to implement your suggestion. And number two, the suggestion is the softest part of your feedback. Here you can choose the more gentle approach. Finish your suggestion and head over to the feedback receiver, but asking them what they think about your proposal. We'll take a look at an example where this has done well in our next lesson. 8. Real Life Example: Let's take a look at a good example that you can use as orientation for your feedback. The behavioral description goes like this. Yesterday, I sent you the agenda for all workshop with our client and your applied looks good. However, at the beginning of our workshop with a client this morning, you asked for changing the agenda, canceling one longest section and putting another one in. Do you remember the situation? The question is, this point is very important because I want to make sure that the feedback receiver knows exactly the situation that I meant before I continue. What follows is the impact that the described behavior had on me that embarrassed me in front of the client because it made me look like I hadn't aligned the agenda with you beforehand. I also noticed that Mr. Bush was irritated by these last minute changes. Notice that also in the impact description that it's not accusation or blame towards the feedback receiver. The last step is the suggestion. For the next workshop or meeting. I would like you to either make no changes after giving me a green light or warn me before you bring this up in front of the client. What do you think about that? With this question I had over to the feedback receiver and enable the discussion about the feedback. I have brought my points across to openly, honestly and confidently. I describe the behavior and are described how this behavior made me feel and what impact it's had on my work. And now I made a suggestion and I'm open to discuss that proposal with the feedback received. Now you're almost ready to deliver your feedback. But let's take a look at some important ground rules before you do that. 9. Feedback Ground Rules: If you follow the step-by-step guide so far, you now know exactly what to put into your feedback. But before you start making an appointment with the person you want to have the feedback discussion with. Let's take a look at a few rules on how to deliver it. Rule number one is clarify first whether feedback is desired. By doing that, you will create buy-in for feedback because you provide autonomy to the feedback receiver because he could say yes or no. The second rule is do it in person or via call in general, do it orally and never in writing because only then you have a sensor on your message and you can see the person react. And you can have a discussion about the feedback. And you allow the other person to ask questions to clarify your points. The third rule is provide your feedback timely. That means usually within a week or maximum ten days only then the memory of the situation or behavior as fresh for both of you. And the person who receives the feedback doesn't get the impression that he hasn't had no chance to revise the impression he made on your fourth rule. We talked about that before. Use I messages and iMessage is a data point for the feedback receiver. You message is an accusation that they might need to defend against. The fifth role is feedback is no monologue. So ask for questions for clarification and ask for reactants. When you ask for reactions, use sentences like, how does that sound for you? How do you think about it? How does it make you feel? And of course, there are also a few rules when you are on the receiving end of feedback. Number 1, listen without interruption, number to avoid a defensive attitude. Number 3, ensure comprehension. And number 4, say thank you and think about now before we come to the end of the class, I want to share with you some tips and tricks that I discovered over the years and that proved to be very helpful for me. 10. Tips, Tricks and Tripwires: Tip number 1, exercise your feedback. This is especially important when you need to deliver negative feedback to someone whose opinion you value very, very much or to someone you know, that gets easily hour, Believe me, and the heat of the moment, you will be very glad for every sentence that you memorized, because only then you can deliver your feedback without searching for words and without the risk of saying something thoughtless that you would later regret. Tip number 2, understand that feedback is no negotiation for agreement. Feedback is a gift to the feedback receiver. It's a data point that he or she did not have before. So the receiver decides what he or she wants to do with that data point. And your goal is not to reach an agreement, but to make sure that the receiver gets the datapoint, write your goal when delivering feedback is that the feedback receiver understands what you say. You want, that he understands what specific behavior or situation you mean, what impact the behavior had on you and would you want him to change on when they receive it? Agrees on your suggestion at the end, That's cool. You'll have a good chance of having successfully changed them. But that's not the core goal of your feedback. So it's totally fine when you walk away and you have no agreement on the proposal that you made, you should only make sure that he has understood you correctly. Tip number 3, acknowledged that feedback is full of emotions. Understand that humans are emotional beings no matter how rational they think or claim they are. People often come to feedback conversations and realize that they are going to be criticized and feel threatened to before you say a single word. And even knew the feedback provider will feel a little bit nervous about the conversation that you are going to have. So what can you do about it? Number one, observe, recognize, and understand their end your emotions and pay extra attention when you're going to criticize an aspect of their identity or self-image number to allow the other side to show some emotion. Letting off some steam. Don't react harshly on an emotional overreaction. Instead, ask the person to continue. Number three, don't try to put emotions aside. Instead, make them explicit and acknowledge them as legitimate. So speak about your own emotions and use sentences like, I can see this bothers you or not, or you seem to feel mistreat us, is that the case? Or me and my team are afraid that our agreement won't be kept. What do you think about it? 11. Final Thoughts: Congratulations, you are at the end of the course. I hope you enjoyed the course and you took something away from it, some final thoughts before you leave. Feedback needs training to master. The concept of feedback is easily and fast understood. You tell me how you think I am doing. I tell you how I think you are doing. But yet, putting it into the right words and conveying it the correct way is the thing that you need to learn over time. And there's so much more to learn about feedback. How to deal with very negative feedback that I received myself. Or how to convey feedback that I know will trigger a rejection because it's so close to the personality of the person, I am giving that feedback to you. If that sounds interesting to you, Stay tuned for upcoming classes here on Skillshare, we are very happy to share what we've learned and discovered over the past decade. But now I'm curious to see the feedback that you prepared for someone you care about. So have fun uploading and discuss in your feedback points. And never forget feedback as the breakfast of champions. So long. Thanks for watching and see you next time.