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30 Jun 2021 - Feedback: How to Give It, How to Receive It, and Why It Matters
Episode 89 - 30 Jun 2021

Feedback: How to Give It, How to Receive It, and Why It Matters

This special episode of the Church Leadership Podcast is part one of two on the topic of giving and receiving feedback. Enjoy this recording of Caitlin Van Wagoner and John McGee’s mainstage panel from CLC 2021 and additional discussion on why feedback is so important. For show notes and more, visit

Episode Summary

5 Principles for Giving Feedback:

  • Ask permission. No one likes to be blindsided by feedback. Asking for permission gives the other person an opportunity to be in the right mental state to receive the information you want to share.
  • Fight frustration. Proverbs 15:2 says, “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.” Before giving feedback, note your emotional state and make sure you are not entering the conversation angry or upset.
  • Be specific. When giving feedback, generalizations will often be unhelpful. Instead, pinpoint specific areas where change needs to occur. If you don’t define a problem clearly, you cannot expect someone to respond effectively.
  • Make it actionable. Paint a picture of what success looks like. Use language like, “What if next time, you considered ….” This will help them not be lost as to what the future needs to entail.
  • Frame your feedback as an act of love and service. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” Communicate that the only reason you are sharing feedback is because you love and care for the other person.

5 Principles for Receiving Feedback:

  • Consistently ask for feedback. If you are someone who consistently and enthusiastically asks for feedback, not only will others be more likely to share with you, but you will also have more frequent opportunities to grow.
  • Fight defensiveness. If you are too defensive after receiving feedback, the feedback will often stop coming. People will be more hesitant to share with you.
  • Seek clarity. After initially receiving feedback, make sure to ask clarifying questions and clear up anything that doesn’t make sense. Perhaps even try paraphrasing back what you heard.
  • Try it on. Think about feedback like a piece of clothing you have the option to either keep or throw out. Trying it on first is the best way to come to that decision. Spend a few days applying the feedback to see if it does help. And remember, you do not have to absorb every piece of feedback.
  • Take a step towards them. The feedback giving and receiving process is a vulnerable one. After hearing what someone was brave enough to share, make sure to thank the other person for their feedback.
Hosted By
John McGee
John McGee

Sr. Director of Watermark Resources