Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Healthy conflict and constructive feedback

Feedback matters. Research shows how feedback is crucial to accomplishing , external,organizational and team goals. In TTS, we recognize feedback as essential to living our values of inclusion, integrity, and impact.

We strive to have a diverse workforce: therefore, we expect folks to have different ways of communicating, different , external,neurotypes, and different cultural beliefs about feedback and conflict.

Feedback takes practice; learning best practices for giving (and receiving!) feedback helps decrease tension in times of conflict and increases our ability to deliver messages that are truly heard by others.

Giving feedback with power and identity in mind

Each of us has a unique set of identities. When giving feedback, we are sharing the world as we see it; we are affected not only by what we think we observed and heard, but also by previous impressions and interactions.

The principles in this guide ask us to clarify why and how we are giving feedback. They also ask us to listen to the receiver. This is crucial: it’s a chance to learn how someone is experiencing the world, and how they are experiencing us.

Listening is especially critical when we are giving feedback to someone with less power in the organization, and/or who has less societal power and opportunity. Working through the principles below can reduce the chance that our messages are rooted in bias or gut reactions.

Overcoming the fear of “can we talk?”

If you haven’t given feedback to someone before (especially if you are their supervisor!), the first feedback conversation(s) may cause feelings of dread or anxiety - on both sides, and especially for the receiver!

While the principles below can guide you, the only way to break through this barrier is to start having feedback conversations. It might feel awkward or clunky at first; that’s normal. Using this guide can help you get going.

When feedback is an on-going, consistent practice, it benefits the giver and receiver: the receiver knows what to expect and is less likely to fear feedback, and the giver can learn what is (and isn’t) working and improve their practices.

Return to the top of the page ^

An official website of the U.S. General Services Administration

Looking for U.S. government information and services?
, external,Visit