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Providing Feedback More Easily and Effectively

As entrepreneurs and leaders, we give feedback to our business partners, team, clients, investors, sponsors and more. It can be especially challenging to give feedback when the other person is unaware that they are the cause of an issue, or we are unsure of how they will receive the feedback. We can have better conversation practices that can improve relationships, motivation, engagement and results.

Before we move on, let's talk about what we mean by "effective feedback":

  • Based on facts and observable behavior (not gossip or personality)

  • Delivered with the right mindset - a positive intent to help the person

  • Structured, to make it easier to understand and accept

  • Clear about what behavior is expected in the future

  • A dialogue that opens up

(SkillPacks, 2023)

Photo by Christina @  woemn talking
Photo by Christina @

There are many types of feedback, such as:

Reinforcing Feedback:

When you want to reinforce behaviors and ensure that they continue.

An example of reinforcing feedback:

Tracy, the way you answered questions in that meeting was great. Your answers were short and clear, and you always connected your answers back to the key point of the presentation. This really gave the client confidence and kept the meeting on track, keep it up in the future!

Redirecting (or Corrective) Feedback:

When you want to redirect your team member’s behavior to be more productive.

An example of redirecting feedback:

Tina, there have been a couple of times recently where I have observed you interrupting your team members in team meetings. I’m concerned that this may affect your reputation within the team. It's great to give your team members the space to talk and share their thoughts so they feel their opinion and contribution matters. Next time, it would be best to wait until they are finished talking before sharing your point. What are your thoughts on this?

Our focus here is on redirecting feedback, which can be more challenging to give and receive.

Luckily, there are some skills and processes that can help us have these important conversations in an effective and empathetic way; specifically, the F.U.E.L framework (Zenger-Folkman). Keep in mind this is just a guiding map, and it can be followed in any order depending on the situation.

Think of a situation from your entrepreneurial life and try out the F.U.E.L map yourself!

Zenger-Folkman, 2015 on F.U.E.L
Zenger-Folkman, 2015

Let's focus on each part.

Frame the Conversation

The idea is to frame the conversation by setting the context and the parameters right from the start. The leader should identify the specific behavior/issue to discuss, and figure out the purpose/outcomes of the conversation in a 1:1 setting. The information and conversation starters below can be tailored as needed.


Conversation Primers

Identify the behavior/issue to discuss

What is the most important thing for us to focus on?

Determine the purpose/outcomes of the conversation

I'd like to talk about..... I believe the payoff will be....

Agree on the process for the conversation

Here's how I thought we could proceed....

Zenger Folkman, 2015

Understand the Current State

We also need to understand the situation as seen through the other person's (coachee) eyes. How do they view the situation? As problem-solvers, it's easy to jump in with our own perspective and solution and consider it to be the best one.

However, open-ended, non-leading questions allow for a better insight into the other person's ideas and offer more clarity on the motivations driving their behavior.


Conversation Primers

Understand the coachee's point of view

How do you view this situation? What challenges are you facing?

Determine the consequences of continuing on this path

​What impact is this having on you? Others ?What are the long-term implications?

Zenger Folkman, 2015

Explore the Desired State

Here, we want to identify the target and generate multiple paths to achieve that end state.

We can simply ask - what would you like to see happen here? What is a realistic vision that we can work towards? We can explore various methods to reach this goal, and help the coachee prioritize the steps.

Research has also shown that by generating at least three alternative options, the whole solution ends up being better and more robust.


Conversation Primers

Discover the vision for success

​What would you like to see happen here? What would the ideal state look like?

​Set goals and performance expectations

What are your goals? Here's how I see it.......

Explore alternate paths of action

What might be some other approaches? May I offer a couple of thoughts?

Explore possible barriers or resistance

​What are the major barriers preventing this change from happening?

Zenger Folkman, 2015

Lay Out a A Success Plan

Finally, the coachee needs to figure out a plan of action to achieve their goal within a specific time frame. There should be milestones along the way. When people are held accountable for their own desired action steps, and when someone checks in on them later on, the odds of them completing their steps are much higher. So there is both action and follow-up.


Conversation Primers

Develop an action plan and follow-up strategies

What actions will help you achieve your goal? How will you keep focused on your goals?

Enlist support from others

Who can support you in moving forward? How can I support you?

Set milestones for follow-up and accountability

Let's review our plans....... When should we touch base on this again?

Zenger Folkman, 2015

Here at Nomad Haven, our members are leaders leading their own intuitive businesses. Nomad Haven is a space for them to reflect on professional and personal goals, to receive feedback and support from each other as they continuously grow and learn.

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