Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

A key moment to build a connection with your colleagues is when you need to deliver feedback in English.

Find out how to do it to maintain a great connection with the people around you at work.

Today we’ll show you plenty of phrases, expressions, and strategies to do this in a professional and friendly way.

How to introduce bad feedback:

  • “Don’t take this the wrong way but….(feedback)”
  • “You’re very (positive adjective), having said that, one area for improvement could be improving the accuracy of your reports.”
  • “Something that could be done better is….”

What is the feedback sandwich?

When we give feedback we can start with something positive (the bread) then add the meat (the criticism) and then add something positive or a future suggestion that seems optimistic to finish up (the bread).

This format is used often in American culture for delivering feedback.

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Examples of feedback in English:

  • “I really liked the visuals that you used. It seemed like the presentation could have been more interactive. Overall I think you’re doing a great job. Why not try adding a few more points to your conclusion next time?
    • When we use “it seemed that” we are keeping the feedback impersonal and objective and more about the presentation, not the person.
    • ‘When you say “Why not try” it’s less direct than saying “why don’t you try” or “you should try”
    • “Next time” signals that you are talking about positive changes for a future time
  • “I noticed that some of the examples were missing a reference.”
    • Here we avoid using “you missed a reference” and we make it passive instead to avoid pointing your finger at the person. You keep it more objective this way.
  • “Some details got skipped over in the last presentation”
    • Here we are also using the passive voice instead of saying “you skipped over some details”
    • This sounds more mature and professional to say it in the passive form

Other ways to soften suggestions:

  • Perhaps you could expand your theory
  • Maybe expanding your theory would help…
  • One idea is…
  • I wonder what would happen if…
  • What about adding more details

Listen to the episode to hear these phrases used in a real role play.

Let us know your questions in the comments section below.

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