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Manager feedback examples: How to communicate with your leaders clearly

Giving your manager feedback is essential part of learning and development. Read this blog post to learn more.

Jon Davis · November 13, 2023
Manager feedback examples: How to communicate with your leaders clearly

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Everyone knows the saying ‘communication is key’, but how do you implement this concept to your managers?

Usually, people think of only giving feedback to team members, rather than their leaders. However, giving feedback to all team members, including your managers, can be a step in the right direction for improving happiness at work and business success.

In this guide, we’ll give you tips and guidance while also providing lots of manager feedback examples so you’ll not only feel more confident discussing issues with your boss, but also help you handle communication challenges more widely.

Our blog post will encourage you to feel like the best version of yourself, so you can provide any feedback you may want to give without worry.

Why giving feedback to management is important

Everyone knows communication is important in any relationship, but why is it specifically important for managers?

Well, feedback for manager positions can help you in numerous ways. It can:

Help management improve: Open conversations with management means that they’ll be able to utilize this feedback to develop as a professional, making the management more effective.

Encourage productivity: Open communication will create a more productive workforce, as your workforce will be happier and feel able to openly express themselves. This means that everyone will be more encouraged to work harder.

Improve your communication skills: Communication is a great transferrable skill which is why it’s so important to foster it. It’s an important skill to have as it allows you to avoid misunderstandings, meaning you can in turn avoid wider conflict.

Help problem-solving skills: Again, being a problem-solver is a great transferrable skill, both in and out of work. Identifying issues with management, communicating it clearly and addressing your challenges takes a lot of courage, but makes a world of difference!

In nearly all cases, management feedback is important to company culture. It helps to foster a feedback culture and prioritizes learning and development. Positivity in the workplace usually requires positive management. Therefore, being aware of some great manager feedback examples is sure to help you strike the right note when you discuss any feedback with your manager.

Constructive feedback for manager positions, when delivered with respect may help you earn your leader’s trust.

When communicated tactfully all feedback (good or bad) will foster a strong relationship with your leaders, helping you improve future communication.

Not only this, but feedback for your manager also empowers both the employee and the employer, so you’ve got the confidence to speak up in the future. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved.

When to give feedback to your manager

If your company has a period designated for feedback, for example, quarterly, bi-annual, or annual reviews this is the time to do it. By delivering your feedback, you’ll demonstrate valuable insight and the will to improve your team’s dynamic and performance.

However, sometimes there isn’t a designated time for feedback, and that’s fine! You’ll have to make your own opportunities, which can feel daunting; however, we’ve created a list below to help you identify your chance to issue feedback.

It is great to provide feedback when:

  • You’re in one-on-one meetings
  • You’re in team meetings if you and your manager feel comfortable in this group setting
  • Your manager asks for feedback

Setting up a meeting ahead of time means that your feedback is structured rather than just impulsive.

When to avoid giving feedback to your manager

Feedback can be a great way to promote a healthier, more successful team, that is confident in its dynamic feedback culture.

However, there are occasions when giving feedback isn’t the best idea. Here’s a few times when you shouldn’t:

  • You're in the heat of the moment
  • You're in front of your manager’s superiors
  • Your manager seems stressed
  • You’re feeling very frustrated
  • HR should be involved instead
  • You’ve just started a new role, and your rapport may not be developed yet

In most cases, it’s best to use your best judgment to decide when the manager feedback examples we have provided should be used.

Specifically, really consider negative feedback. You’ll need to be sure of your opinions, and be able to clearly articulate what the problem is. Otherwise, you might be at risk of blowing your chance to deliver feedback.

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Types of feedback

Feedback can be given in lots of different ways. For example, the feedback you provide can depend on your situation or environment.

Regardless of these factors, being honest, clear, succinct and polite in your communication is a recipe for success when offering opinions to management.

We’ll outline the different feedback you can offer to your management to help you understand this a bit clearer:

Positive feedback for your manager examples

Letting your manager know they’ve done a great job is always a great feeling. And it’s the easiest to implement of all the feedback approaches.

You can bring this feedback up in meetings or simply in casual conversation. When you decide to offer this feedback is up to you, but be assured you’ll be supporting your manager while also helping build company morale at the same time – a true win-win.

Positive feedback to manager examples could be: “Your positivity really helped me as it boosted my morale and made me feel recognized in the team as you celebrated our successes.”

Here’s a few more examples of positive feedback you could use:

  • “I know that finding the correct balance within the workplace can often be hard and takes a lot of effort, however, your specific style of management really has made a difference and has pushed me to accomplish things I never thought I could do."
  • “Thank you for all the help you’ve given in providing me with clear detail and direction for this task.”
  • “I find that I thrive with clear instructions and direction, therefore your consistent involvement and clear communication have helped me to succeed.”

Constructive feedback for manager examples

Constructive feedback is the type of feedback that is given with the intention of a positive outcome.

Make sure you’re communicating clearly and in a structured way when offering constructive feedback. This will avoid any miscommunications and will ensure you’re conveying the point you want to put across rather than simply confusing your manager.

Here are a few examples of constructive feedback:

  • "I’d benefit from a conversation about the decision you made about ‘x’, so I can understand your choice better.”
  • “I want to make sure we're on the same page because I know you have high expectations for me, however, micromanagement is making it hard for me to progress.”

A few phrases that may enable you to give clear feedback could be:

  • “I think there is room for improvement here…”
  • “Our team could benefit from…”
  • “A better way to handle this could be…”
  • “I see an opportunity to improve this, in this way”

Negative feedback for manager examples

Negative feedback is hard to give, however, giving this feedback is important as, if warranted, it can be the right thing to do.

Offering this type of feedback can help deliver better business outcomes and help your manager and your team grow and develop.

Negative feedback can feel difficult to deliver. However taking a step back, understanding the issue and communicating calmly and clearly can relieve some of the tension you might be feeling.

Here are a few examples of negative feedback:

  • “I think the team would benefit drastically from some positivity even when work is tough."
  • “I believe that the team needs to be set clear goals, within our training. Currently, I feel as though we are all receiving insufficient training which is making it harder to understand what is expected of us all.”
  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed with how your day is being scheduled you could say something like, “Recently, I have been feeling stressed because my workload feels unmanageable. I’d appreciate it if my tasks could be prioritized differently, so I can work in ways that suit my working style best, meaning I’ll be able to get more done in the day.”
  • “Over the past few months, I’ve noticed that the work is being distributed unfairly between my colleagues. My workload needs to lessen so I can complete my work to the best quality possible.”

Feedback to manager examples and tips

When giving feedback to managers, it’s important to give effective feedback.

Regardless of whether you’re communicating positive feedback for manager positions or constructive feedback to managers, you must be:

  • Specific: Be specific when things have gone well
  • Timely: Give feedback shortly after something has happened - this way it’ll be fresh in everyone’s minds.
  • Objective: Removing yourself from the situation emotionally, when required, means that you can focus on what has happened, rather than your emotions.
  • Respectful: Being respectful of your manager’s feelings when communicating, will ensure that your feedback is emotionally intelligent and also sensitive to how your manager may be feeling too.

To wrap up

Well-executed feedback given to your managers can promote honest and open conversations in the workplace. Our manager feedback examples should work as a springboard to encourage you to actively discuss various feedback points with your manager, to help you clearly put your points across and therefore set clear goals for the future.

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