An easy way to give complete, specific feedback is to use the STAR approach developed by DDI (ddiworld.com).  Below is a summary of this approach, which is applicable at any point you need to provide feedback, not just during an annual review cycle.


ST—Situation or Task.  What was the problem, opportunity, challenge, or task?

A—Action.  What was said or done to handle the situation or task?  For developmental feedback, what did the person or team say or do that was less effective?

R—Result.  What changed, for better or worse, because of the person’s actions, and what was the impact or consequences of that result? When you provide developmental feedback using STAR, you also will describe:

  • An alternative Action—something the person could have said or done differently.
  • The enhanced Result that the alternative action might have produced.

When you provide developmental feedback using the STAR approach, consider asking the person how he or she might have approached the situation differently.

To be effective, feedback needs to be:

  • Timely.
  • Balanced.
  • Specific.
  • About the performance or behavior and not about the person or the person’s motives.

In the next post, we will describe how to receive feedback from others.

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