Many people find giving feedback daunting. Therefore we developed the COIN Framework, to help you give actionable feedback that will help your peers, manager or direct report improve their performance and be able to grow.

Follow the 4 simple steps of the COIN framework to help formulate effective feedback. This method can be used both for times when you want to share motivational feedback (a Praise) or developmental feedback (a Tip).

Context

Start by identifying the situation. Give your colleague a reference point: a specific example of when they may have demonstrated the behavior in question or a situation that prompted you to give this feedback.

For example:

In our last team meeting...

Over the past few weeks...

When sitting next to you...

Since you joined the team...

Observation

Describe the behavior that you observed in a clear and objective manner. Focus on the actions that your colleague took, and not on their personality. This should come from your own observations, not from something you heard second-hand.

For example:

I noticed that you interrupted John several times...

You didn't give the team an update on the status of the project...

I saw an increase in attention to detail in your work...

You made sure to include everyone in the conversation...

Impact

Help your colleague understand why you’re commenting on this behavior by describing its impact. This is often the part people are least aware of. You are opening their eyes to the impact they have, which should create an incentive to change or to continue doing what they are doing.

For example:

I felt l like I couldn't speak up during the meeting...

This led to us having a more open conversation as a team...

This caused a delay in the deliverables for the client...

This brought in 10% more leads for the team...

Next

The last step is where the feedback becomes actionable. Offer some suggestions of what they could do to improve, what could they do differently next time, how they could continue doing this. Sometimes the next step is an invitation to discuss further in person.

For example:

Next time you could take more time to prepare before the meeting.

Keep doing this during our team sprints, it helps keep us all connected!

Can we meet this week to talk about this together?

Make eye contact with the audience members to help them feel included.

Let's take a look at how it comes all together:

Remember that giving feedback is a skill that you need to practice on a regular basis. It's all about progress, not perfection, so don't worry if you don't get it right every time. If you remember to use the C.O.I.N formula, you can ensure you're giving actionable, constructive feedback that will help your peers, manager or direct report improve their performance.

Want to put this into practice? Download a free copy of the C.O.I.N framework poster here and pin it up to help you remember.

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